Thursday, April 1, 2010

There but for the Grace of Godde, go I

In my heart of hearts, I credit my some of my relative contentment with where life has put me to my upbringing and choices I have made, but mostly to a long string of fortunate rolls of the dice. I come to this particular thought via an accidental car radio button sending me to rant radio. As for Godde, well, I follow Claire Bangasser's thoughtful struggles with Catholicism, and her Godde is a more reasonable person than the God of my Protestant upbringing.

The radio rant happened to be one of those conservative hate radio commentators extending the fable of the ant and the grasshopper, only he has the ant giving in and feeding the grasshopper, and successive generations of grasshoppers, till the grasshoppers demand everything, eat all, and everybody dies. Well, I can understand some of the objections to taking from the deserving and giving to the underdeserving. Isn't it the way of Darwin, that those without survival skills die out, for the long run survival of the species?

However, I have a problem with classifying all those with little or no income, and sometimes with high medical needs as undeserving. In my 70+ years of life I have seen a lot of good people come up on bad times due to nothing more than being in the wrong spot at a moment in time. Catastrophe happens. We as good citizens, but more importantly as people exposed to the roll of the dice, need to do our best to spread the risk. Insurance companies by their nature, wish to get paid for insurance and pay the minimum in claims, by excluding those likely to file claims. I expect the government, in it's duty to provide for the general welfare of the country, to assure equal access to services such as health care.

I didn't have an  image of an ant, and I'm not sure that a praying mantis (who devours her mate) is a good choice, but I like the image.


  1. Somewhere in my distant past, I remember that it was expected or suggested that people tithe (give) 10% of their income to charities. I wonder what the rate is nowadays.

    Most of us are wondering how this healthcare plan will actually work out, but I am optimistic because I think at least many people who (as you said) just didn't luck out, will be covered.

    I don't want to live in a country that won't help those most in need.
    Granted there are those who don't take care of themselves, but there are tons more who are in dire straits due to circumstance out of their control (children, frail elderly, etc.).

  2. :-))))

    I admire you for listening to hate radio shows. I cannot. I am delighted that you want to help people in dire needs. And there are so many of them.

    Yes, some of us are infinitely lucky...


  3. Claire, I try my best to avoid rant radio, but sometimes I have the radio on at an unusual hour, and encounter it.

  4. I have friends who think universal health care is the end of the U.S. As someone without insurance it seems like it could actually be an improvement for me. All the arguments against it makes very little sense. But either way, my survival skills seem good enough -- they just aren't the ones that make money.

    The mantis picture caught my eye -- I read decades ago that the mantis (according to Kalahari Bushmen) created the world and the people on it, but carelessly and without any thought as to how they'd survive here. People had to look around and learn that from the world around them, learn to survive and prosper by watching other living things do it. I always liked that idea.