Simply human

Rick Ryckeley's picture

Next month Best Friend Mitch will be going through the same shoulder operation that I underwent last December. He’ll be out of work for six months.

I’ve felt his pain. I’m sure the recovery experienced at his house will be far more traumatic, painful, and nerve-racking than what was experienced at mine. And that’s just what his wife will be going through.

His pending appointment with the skillful surgeon’s knife has made me pause and take note of the current controversy exploding during town hall meetings and airing nightly on television.

There’s a storm across this country about healthcare. Amidst all of the dark clouds and wind, the storm has unearthed an ugly side of America.

Should the government step in and provide health coverage for all or should the less fortunate go without?

Is the government being compassionate to take from one person to provide for another?

Or is it simply like Robin Hood stealing from the rich and giving to the poor?

All are good questions — none of which I have an answer to, but I do have an opinion.

The Wife and I are extremely fortunate to have jobs that provide healthcare. Each year the premiums and co-pays increase. Each year our paychecks shrink because of the amount of taxes taken out. And each year I complain because there seems to be no end in sight.

I’m really good at complaining. There seems to be no regard for those who have no paycheck and for those who have no insurance at all. And many, through no fault of their own, find themselves to be dependent on someone else for the bare necessities of life.

The world is constantly swirling around us and unless things directly affect you or your life or the lives of family or friends, most people seldom if ever take note or remember to be thankful for what they have. I’m as guilty as the rest. While worrying about bills, the economy, or a host of other things I have no control over, I lose sight of what’s really important.

The Wife, The Boy and I are truly blessed with a house over our heads and food on the table, but most importantly, we have something else — something we often take for granted. We have our health.

Dad used to say, “If you have your health, you have everything. If you don’t, you have nothing.”

Truer words have never been spoken.

So to my best friend Mitch on his impending surgery, I also have a few words of advice. People have gone through shoulder surgery and come out just fine. I’m one of those people. So stop worrying. The Wife told me today that people who worry live shorter lives. Now that’s something to really worry about.

Be nice to your wife. With your arm in a sling for two months, she will have to tie your shoes each morning. Trust me; it’s hard to walk around all day with your shoe laces tied together.

Be nice to your kids. Take it from me, a one-armed man is at a great disadvantage when it comes to a water balloon fight. Unless of course you pre-fill one hundred balloons and hide them around the house. Something I’ll be happy to help you with. After all, we guys have to stick together.

Finally, on a serious note, the solution for the healthcare debate seems to me to be a simple one. There’re those who believe government is already too intrusive and takes too much of our money. That the less fortunate should go out and get jobs to be productive, instead of leeching off the rest of us.

For those, I leave you with this thought: caring about others who are in need of healthcare, for whatever reason, doesn’t make you a liberal, conservative, Democrat or a Republican. It simply makes you human.

login to post comments | Rick Ryckeley's blog