What If The People Really Mattered In America

Last night I watched the NBA playoffs as a fan of the Portland Trailblazers and they got crushed in the first game. It used to be that I would feel crushed by this kind of thumping of my favorite sports team ever. Now I feel disappointed but I don’t take it so personally. Maybe that is having a bigger perspective on what really matters and what doesn’t.

I missed Bill Moyer’s show on Friday so I caught part of it on the Internet and the guest I saw was a journalist named David Simon. He was talking about the lack of care for those in poverty in the United States specifically in the inner cities. His remarks where full of insight into what needs to change about America if we are to remain a healthy nation. I so much appreciate people who are wise enough to share a broader inclusive viewpoint.

David Simon calls the United States an oligarchy in which a few people control the nation. Those few people are the very rich (top 1-5% of wealth) who pay to have influence. This is why Wall Street and Banking have so much power. Most of the very wealthy have no idea what it is to struggle to make it in the world. They are blessed to not have to face these challenges but it also means they lack the understanding of what the majority of Americans go through living pay check to pay check.

Even professionals like myself struggle with low wages because I have dedicated myself to helping the less fortunate, the addicted, those struggling with mental health issues. We who help others get paid low wages because the people we serve matter very little to those in power. I am not complaining here because I love my work and I also know if worked for a corporation or in the Financial world, I would be well off with the experience and skill level I have developed. My awareness gained from my work with those in need has taught me much about what matters most to me: the values of consciousness and compassion.

I write about these two values often because I have learned over my 35 years of helping others that having compassion and being conscious are perspectives that are universal and so needed in the world today run instead by the pursuit of profits and power. This influence, of making money at any cost as a national agenda, has greatly compromised our nation’s heart which is the working men and women who keep this country moving forward. There is no greatness in this nation if, “we the people” are taken advantage of by those who get richer on everyone else’s backs.

If we the people mattered: there would be health care for all, not people going broke over medical bills; there would be help for those who have been abused as children and are now troubled, not more prisons; there would be reasonable housing, not only over-inflated debt producing options; there would be good and fair wages, not full time pay that is too little to get by on; there would be a more equitable distribution of wealth, not all the money in the hands of the few as it is now; there would be enough good food for all, not more hunger and empty food banks; and other indications that the people are not the top priority.

I cannot say this enough or too often, we the people must speak up, look out for ourselves by keeping informed, demand that government represents us, and move from blaming and complaining to action that makes a positive difference.

You are needed today to get involved in whatever matters most to you.