Stuck On An Idea


 by Terry Sterrenberg

“Now Is The Time:  Healthcare For Everybody” is really the rallying cry these days. Healthcare activists all over the country are coming through in a big way.  It is amazing what we have done this past year and it is not yet done.  To be a part of it has been more than invigorating.  I literally feel that I have come back to life in some very real ways and the pit in my stomach that started right after the election last year has begun to refill.  However, even though I have new faith in the American people not to jump off the sinking ship, I am still living in the disillusionment of what this country is and has become and the unbelievable spin of those in power who create “alternate facts” and “Truth”.

Some would say that the creation of this alternate “truth” is evidence of mental illness itself.  It is usually called being delusional, i.e. living in your own reality and not being able to distinguish what is real from what is not.  What is truth to one person can appear to be delusional to the rest of us, particularly if the delusional person is not willing or able to let in new information or to accept all the information that is available.  This is a huge dilemma.  Once you think you have the “truth”, it can be a lot like closing your mind and “getting stuck on an idea”.  After all, truth is the ultimate, once you have it no further discovery is possible.

Getting stuck on a particular idea is considered in some circles to be a lagging cognitive skill.  Being adaptable when necessary, changing one’s mind, entertaining new ideas and compromising are considered evolutionary steps in the development of human beings.  These abilities are what make problem-solving and establishing agreements possible.  Without them, individuals, groups, or political parties become stalemated.  Breaking the deadlock requires the skills of dialoguing  and discussing. Truth is not as important as understanding the other.

Part of my truth is that being respectful and kind, solving problems, and trying to ensure that everyone has what they need in life is better than hoarding things and money, calling people names, and  ripping people off.  There is a whole list of qualities that most of us can agree upon that makes life better.  Living among people who have these qualities creates life for everyone.

Truth is mostly subjective.  And as such, we all can chose our truth at any particular moment. Why not chose a truth that makes life better – like having healthcare available for everyone? Why would anyone chose a truth that separates and vilifies people?

My mother used to say, “Who you hang around with makes a difference”.  I certainly know that  finding others who share my  truth  makes my life worth living.  I have found my common truth in the community of healthcare advocates over the years.  You folks  are some of the most heart centered and giving people in the world and I thank you for your friendship.

Stuck on an idea?  The idea of making healthcare available to all of us?  That’s a delusion (truth) I can live with.


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