Saturday, November 6, 2010

We're Slipping Away

Every so often the United Nations publishes its Quality of Life report listing the best and the worst places on the planet for, well obviously, quality of life.  This country hasn't been number one for awhile now.  Norway, according to the report, is the place to be.  So are Australia and New Zealand.  This country according to this report slipped down to number eleven for quality of life.  The main reason for the slip, according to the United Nations, was our loss of a middle class.
The other day I was talking to someone who suffers from a pretty severe mental illness.  She was pretty steamed about the elections.  She had voted and wasn't happy that the Republicans had reclaimed the House of Representatives.  She also worries that she will lose her Medicare benefits.  "You think I'm crazy now," she laughed.  "Wait until I can't see a psychiatrist of get medications,"
The day before she and I spoke she had called fifty Republicans -- leaders and every day people -- and expressed her fears about the economy and about health care and, yes, about the quality of her life and of the lives of her family and friends.  She told me that she intended to either call or email fifty people a day.  "We've got to make sure we are heard," she said.
I was impressed.  Am I going to make fifty calls a day to save or restore my quality of life?  Probably not.  I'll just watch it slip away.
I'm comforted to know that someone will be making those calls, though.  And who knows.  Maybe if I talk to enough people who society declares insane often enough I will have the courage and the conviction to start making calls myself.

No comments: