Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thankfully Sick

It's October, which means the beginnings of campaign commercials and radio spots.  Every candidate wants us to vote for him because he's going to make a difference...  And so it goes until November 2nd, when the lots are cast and the winners are chosen.

In the United States of America, we're free to choose our elected government.  We have the opportunity to openly express our opinions regarding "the issues".   This is a wonderful luxury that most people in the world will never experience.  We all have our beliefs, what choices we think are important when it comes to voting.  I have mine, too.

But today, I don't want to talk about my political viewpoints.  I just want to stop and take a moment to express my gratitude for a wonderful Heavenly Father who has given me the blessing of living in this great country.  America is not perfect; she is an ever-changing work in progress.  But, she is still the most beautiful nation in all the world.  Hoards of people have risked, and continue to risk, their very lives in attempting to set foot upon her soil.  Why?  Because, even with all our problems, the United States still offers every man, woman, and child OPPORTUNITY.  The Great American Dream.  Part of this dream is health care.

Health care is a huge topic on the forefront of our minds, as our current President and other leaders are working to drastically change the health care system in the U.S.  Whether or not I agree with what is being done is not the issue for me today.  Today, I am just thankful that I got the health care that I needed.

I was exhibiting symptoms of having quite a serious infection (which I have experienced in the past).  The same day I decided to see a doctor, I was able to check myself in online (to avoid waiting at the doctor's office), drive less than 2 miles to the clinic, be examined and treated all within the course of 2 hours.   Wow.  Is that not amazing?

Sometimes I catch myself grumbling about some of the laws and policy changes.  I talk about how our government needs to  do this or change that.  But, as I was driving home from work today, no doubt prompted by one of those aforementioned radio spots, I couldn't help but feel gratitude for what I have been given.  I can't begin to understand the pain and poverty that so many other of God's beautiful children experience in the world.  Though by no means rich, I can't remember a single time in my life when some form of healthcare wasn't available to me when I needed it.  Even today, the homeless and penniless in the U.S. can walk into any emergency room and be served.  That is AMAZING.  I seem to take so much for granted.  Having lived in a "bubble" most of my life (I've not traveled much outside the contiguous United States), I have no real concept of what pain and suffering others have experienced.  I couldn't possibly understand how blessed I have been, unless I were to have lived and died as they have lived and died.

I am thankful, though.  I am so thankful.  My antibiotics, though somewhat nauseating, will certainly take away my maladies, leaving me healthy and happy in a matter of just a few short days.  To those living in 3rd world countries, where even clean drinking water is scarce, to experience this would be nothing short of miraculous.  

I don't know why I have been blessed to live in this nation, while so many others have not.  Certainly, I am no more loved than any of God's children.  Neither do I understand why I've been given such bounty, while my brothers and sisters throughout the world are trying to just SURVIVE.  I don't think I'll ever understand it.  The very least I can do, however, is take a small moment to express my humble gratitude; to remember what it really means to live in the United States of America.