On Awakening: Thoughts for the Mornings After the House Passed TrumpCare
I can’t wait to see it: more angry crowds, huddled outside of GOP offices, gathering in the quickening heat of our earlier summers or the crisp autumn air. They will have signs, some of which will be funny, some cunning, some heartbreaking. I am sure there will be at least a handful of outraged and terrified mothers with posters of their child, whose chemotherapy they now worry about affording, whose coverage they may lose because of Down’s Syndrome, whose asthma inhalers will have to last past the expiration dates now.
And their phone lines—rendered useless by fervent constituents calling to demand an explanation as to why their representative would vote for a bill that made it possible to charge someone with metastatic cancer up to $140,000 for coverage, could rise the cost of covering pregnant women by 425%, cost more or could potentially deny coverage to the 1 in 3 Americans that will suffer from Alzhemiers, or the 1 in 2 that are diabetic or prediabetic.
And then finally, the news headline: GOP representatives voted out of office. The pundits will swarm the circuits with commentary: Was it Health care? Unpopularity of the President? Low voter turn out? But we will know: we swore we would make them pay, and we made them pay.
After the House passed the bill, this is what we said we will do, and now it is time we do it. I hope we blow up their phone lines, fill their inboxes, drown them in taunting mail. I hope we confront them in the most benign or sacred of places—baseball games, free turkey handouts before Thanksgiving, ceremonial Christmas tree lightings. I hope we are relentless and unwavering, just like we said we would be. Let us not forget: we are dealing in lives here.
If you haven’t yet, if you said you would—said you would call, said you would write, said you would go to the meetings—this is your moment. Here is your chance for redemption. Let go of all the days behind you—the days when you didn’t go, didn’t call, didn’t write and do these things now.
Today is a new day and it offers us liberation: it lies open and waiting, repentant and vulnerable, still soft, still pliant and moldable, still waiting for us to shape it.
It reminds me of meditation: most mornings I come to the cushion, set my timer and settle in. I breath in—count 1—breath out—count 2—breath in—count 3, and usually by this time I have lost focus. In fact, after attending a meditation retreat last year, where I spent seven days doing nothing but meditating, day in and day out, silently, my only outward accomplishment of those seven days was that I could consistently get to 6 without my mind wandering.
My point is this: I spend most of my meditation time spacing out, rehashing conversations, making grocery lists. But, every meditation teacher I have ever had has told me not to waste time berating myself for the moments my mind wandered, but rather to celebrate each moment of awareness of that wandering mind as a moment of awakening. It is a moment of redemption, of change, of salvation, and any growth, any change we ever will make happens through that moment.
And this new day is our moment. The day where we finally call our reps, finally write the letters,finally rearrange our schedules to go to the marches and rallies.
As for tomorrow or next week, that may be the day where we forget again. Where our schedule is slammed. Where we are overwhelmed or forgetful or bored.
But then another day, or another moment, we will remember again—breath in—count 1—breath out—call your reps.
Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please like, comment and share on social media. Also, here is a list of organizations that are mobilizing people to fight back.