Aging in America might be easier than in some countries, though having to navigate the fragmented health care systems, insurance companies and best evidence for ones specific and or chronic conditions is certainly daunting, and too often, overwhelming. It appears health care common sense is a policy chapter that has not been developed yet, not implemented for sure, regarding Americans and our available health care ‘options’.
I find it interesting that Taiwan¹ has had a single payer system since 1995, I am curious too, why Taiwan was not invited to the WHO General Assembly once again this week, has not been invited since 2009 over challenges with global sovereign policies. In America we have had heated discussions for many years over single payer systems, universal health care. My Mother, a R.N. Mayo Kahler graduate and a staunch Republican, was always a voice for universal health care, she watched as heath care costs accelerated to an out of control range, inaccessible to many, wondering what happened to that common sense platform of days long gone. So do I. There is a 2030 agenda for sustainable governments, I found a perspective laying out the case for strengthening health care for universal health coverage you might like to read².
I coupled this photo and title together as when we age and grow, we constantly try to put everything in perspective. These ongoing thought processes might be refered to as wisdom, intuition, or focus. I climbed Yosemite’s Half Dome in 1987, one of my greater achievements in life, making it to the top of the Dome even though I faced these obstacles:
- Left base camp mid morning, got a very late start
- Believing my gentle PhD hiking friends that it was ok to leave that late, even though they had no evidence to back their theory (two Physicists and one Mathematician)
- Not bringing enough water, nor food for the 14 mile, 14 hour July hike
- Winging our journey, trusting other hikers what was the best trail route
- Not carrying flashlights, and yes, we came down the mountain in the dark, and thank you full moon… We made it,Whew!
As elders in communities we should leave seeds of wisdom with our younger human brethren. The pinecone could be symbolic of the seeds that are to be left behind, that will grow into trees when nurtured, that give back to the earth, and to our communities, many benefits. Half Dome in the background evokes in me the exhilarating feeling of making it to the top, soaking up the spectacular views, realizing though we were only going to be present at that moment in awe and accomplishment, achieving our goal for just a short time. They are now exceptional memories.
Today is my birthday, I woke up with multiple arthritic pains and aches, legally blind until I put on my glasses, wondering what I can accomplish today that might make a difference for others that perhaps could be a positive impact for generations to come. This is a lofty goal for this day, though we are able to share with others the importance of “putting it all in perspective”.
Our Voices Form the Laws, this is a tagline I added to a civic engagement project I initiated years ago. Our Voices are needed for change, to develop new and better policies, though we must walk our talk. I would like to suggest to you, from this blog today, that you will not regret doing something that will better the life of another, make a difference big or small, in your life or for another. Think, Do, Act and Thank you for being You.
*On this day in 1987, the same year I climbed Half Dome, I woke up in Los Altos, CA to the Beatles “Today is your Birthday” blaring from the alarm clock, welcoming the new day. I am still very happy that I spent that day with friends walking across the Golden Gate bridge. They had only allowed foot traffic on that day 31 years ago, celebrating the auspicious 50th year marking the opening of the iconic suspension bridge. I researched the bridge today knowing that it shares a similar birth date, I found that the article ironically tells that the bridge today is looking pretty shabby, mentions what could be done to make it look better. I can only hope that I am standing as strong at age 81, still able to span daily travellers, connecting them in some way along their life’s journey.