Heritage

Today I find myself reminiscing about my heritage. My mother’s birthday recently passed. She was born the day before July 4th, which is when the United States celebrates its independence. I was raised Scots-Irish like many people in this expansive land. Her family hailed from Kentucky and Ohio while my father was raised in New York City in another Scots-Irish family whom were (and are) proud of our Scottish heritage. The American culture I grew up with at home was a mix of the Greater Appalachia and New Yorker mythos against the El Norte/Deep South culture of East Texas.

Needless to say, my views on things can be all over the place. With so many cultures running around in my head, I can see things from multiple points of views. When I find conflict within myself about a certain issue, I try to come at things from how I want to be treated – with respect, understanding, and compassion. Ideas that run deep in Buddhism which I have a practice in. These are concepts I also see in the Christian society that dominates the Southern United States, which makes it hard for me to understand the drive from members of the Republican party to remove people’s health care. Even with the Deep Southern predilection for all the spoils go to the elite, where is the Christian compassion to care for those less fortunate? Let’s be clear I’ve never voted Republican nor do I see myself doing so anytime soon. And while I’ve been able to understand the stance of being fiscally conservative, I don’t understand the lack of compassion being put on display by the Republican party, even with an understanding of the Deep South’s historical aristocratic culture.

With all the Christian talk, it makes a person wonder if the Republican leadership need to go back to Sunday school. For people who are always emphasizing the rights and wrongs based on Bible teachings, you’d think they might not understand what they are doing. But they do which is the deeply troubling part. Someone once told me that Christians only care about people who look like themselves, in other words, like their neighbors or maybe it’s the people from their country club. Now, I know many Christians who understand that Jesus’s words apply to everyone, not just those with a high bank balances. But I’m convinced that the Republican leadership is more interested in making their bank balances higher at the detriment of everyone else even the people who voted for them. By doing away with the Affordable Care Act (health care bill), how much money do the Republicans stand to make? A lot is my guess. The Republicans have a history of waving the Bible flag when in reality they are just manipulating people, so they can make more money. And the Dixie block has been doing this for centuries no matter which party name they go by.

But even with culture ingrained in their minds, one would think human empathy would stir up some compassion to out weight money. One has to wonder at what point does someone become so cold blooded to ignore their own basic human empathy. Maybe they are just narcissistic or their empathy never developed like normal people. How else can one explain one human lacking such basic compassion for other people? But then I’m reminded of a study done some years ago about a test subject being allowed to inflict pain on another test subject because the person running the experiment said it was ok. Some people had no trouble with the test setup while others did. I wonder how the Republican leadership would far if given such a test.

Even though I was raised in the rugged individualist culture of do it yourself, I can see the value in caring for other people’s health and for society to make sure we have a healthy population. An unhealthy population whether it be physical and/or mental health drags on the rest of us. When people can’t get the medical care then need, it spills out into society. We pay more in taxes to cover the uninsured that show up at the emergency room. Businesses suffer from absent employees. Children miss school, playing with friends, or even making friends which will have an affect on them later in life.

I recall something a priest at church once said during a sermon from when I was a kid. He mentioned that a society is judged by how it treats its elderly and its children. And if we asked the Divine one that looks over us all what they think about this, I’m sure they would judge us harshly. Future generations should feel proud of their heritage not ashamed.

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