Wednesday, November 30, 2011

No Man Is An Island

This video took my breath away:

I find myself wondering whether all those brave souls camping out and facing pepper spray and arrest are just spinning their wheels, or whether real change is going to take place. I'm afraid of what will happen to us, and most of all to Benjy, if a fear of government leads to severely reduced state and federal services for the disabled. I'm afraid for a lot of other people, people who deserve to have their basic needs met and to live with dignity, if Medicaid gets slashed. And I'm afraid for the elderly, people like my parents, if Medicare and Social Security go away. Why is it that some people think it's each man for himself? As John Donne said, No man is an island. We NEED each other. And each of us got to where we are, even the wealthy few, because of sacrifices and contributions made by others.

Lars and I thank our lucky stars each time we fill Benjy's many prescriptions and do not have a co-payment, thanks to Mass Health. When his weekly therapy sessions do not cost us a dime. We are utterly grateful that tuition for the Joy School is paid by our school district. Without these supports we would be sunk, and Ben might not be alive.

I celebrate the protesters every day. I tell my kids about them. I long to join them, but with Ben's needs and work commitments it's hard to get down there. These are people who know what they believe in, and are willing to stand by their convictions. I love the humanity of those convictions.

Here's Donne's poem:

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as a manor of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

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