22.3.10

What really matters

Taxes don't really matter, even when I'm paying more than someone else yet benefiting less. (My own sister qualifies for food stamps and Medicaid while we struggle to put food on the table and afford monthly prescriptions.)

Private versus public doesn't really matter, even when people are running around yelling about the sky falling and the end of the world. (My mother raised three children alone on $7/hour for 18 years so that she would never earn more than allowed to be covered by government insurance because no private insurer would cover my sister due to her pre-existing condition(s), including Cystic Fibrosis and lung transplants).

Pro-choice versus anti-choice doesn't matter, even when people yell "baby killer!" on the House floor and people are bombed and killed for allowing women their reproductive rights. (I escorted a 12-year-old girl through a nasty picket line as "God-fearing" people hurled insults and curses at her despite her bravery after being repeatedly raped by both her brother and father. Another day I held hands with a woman the same age as me whose belly led the way as she turned to Planned Parenthood for prenatal services because she couldn't afford to go to an ob-gyn.)

It doesn't really matter. Here's what matters: People treated with dignity and respect. Looking into someone's eyes and clasping their hands and knowing that they, too, are just like you. Despite cultural or political or ethical differences. Despite money or color or gender. We are all worthy of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -- even when some must pay more simply so that others can live at all.

This is what matters to me today and every day:
May they grow up strong and healthy. May they learn (and teach others) these lessons.

9 comments:

  • Sarah

    Bravo, Kelly. Yes! What matters is treating people with dignity and respect. No matter the differences. Without motivation. Renewing the generous spirit I do believe we are born with and executing good will.

    I stand by you, sister, in shouting this across the country.

  • Jennifer

    Wonderful Kelly! That truly is what matters. Sometimes people get so caught up in the little things that they forget that we are all one race, we are all human and we are all equally valuable.

    I send you abrazod from the other side of the world - a cold, still snowy Sweden.

  • realmom

    well said!! Looks like we have another connection. I am the social worker for the local Cystic Fibrosis clinic! Sounds like your sister had a transplant which seems as equally challenging! Hope she is doing well! And glad to hear you know what's important despite the challenges!

  • Kelly

    It's so wonderful to hear voices of agreement, though I know there are just as many voices of opposition.

    I suppose that's another beautiful lesson amidst the hate and anger ... we are free to voice our opinions into the roaring crowd.

  • Janine

    All I have to say is.....Amen. This IS what matters...thanks for sharing family, friends, and this post. = )

  • Amber

    A wholehearted AMEN. That really is all that matters.

  • mamaTRUE

    I totally agree. It's easy to get so caught up in the bitter and broad generalizations that the individuals and their circumstances get lost. Well said!

  • Lauren

    Great post. Seriously. Also? I love your blog design. Just thought you should know. It uses my favorite font which always makes me happy.

  • Jackie

    So well said. So very well said.

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