The End


Hallo, people:

It’s that time of the month in which Absolute Write gives me a chance to participate in the Blog Chain. For December it’s THE END OF THE WORLD. Or, just The End. Here are the instructions:

This month’s prompt:
The End (of the World)

Yes, since the predicted Mayapocalypse only fails to materialize once every 500 years or so we are piggybacking on it. Write what you will about the end of the world (those disinclined to eschatology can write about “the end” in a broader sense). Hopefully, after these ends of the world as we know it, we’ll all feel fine.

Participants and posts:
orion_mk3: http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
dolores haze – http://dianedooley.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
randi.lee – http://emotionalnovel.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
writingismypassion – http://charityfaye.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
bmadsen – https://hospitaloflife.wordpress.com/ YOU ARE HERE!
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
SRHowen – http://srhowen1.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
AllieKat – http://roelke.livejournal.com/ (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes – http://www.taraquan.com/ (link to post)
katci13 – http://www.krystalsquared.net/ (link to post)
meowzbark – http://www.lizzylessard.com/ (link to post)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
Aheïla – http://thewriteaholicblog.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Araenvo – http://www.simonpclark.com/ (link to post)
CJ Michaels – http://www.christinajmichaels.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
SuzanneSeese – http://www.viewofsue.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
BBBurke – http://awritersprogression.blogspot.com/ (link to post)

If someone, right now, comes in and interrupts you reading my blog, he or she gently grabs your chin and lifts it up, then smiles with a hint of irony, you will probably ask yourself: what the hell? And, you will probably just stutter like a frightened, wandering child, when he or she says: it’s all over by tomorrow morning. That’s it. Your world ends in twenty-four hours.

And then what do you do? I find it most interesting to see that people, the selfish, complex beings that we are, all react the same way: oh crap, I have to do everything I wanted to do. I must pronounce my love to the girl I always liked, I must visit as much countries as I can, I must run naked in a crowded shopping mall, whatever rings your bell. But you’re screwed because all you got is twenty-four hours.

Most likely you end up eating tons of ice cream, cookies and watching a movie, moping about the fact that life is going to end in one day, and as the clock winds down to zero, you cry, and then cry some more.

That’s because we humans have fear. It’s fine. Society tells us to be afraid, after all it’s what society wants from us–a bunch of people afraid of acting for themselves, just looking to get a paycheck at the end of the month and carry on with our routines until it’s time to retire and eat apple mush and die in Florida.

Well, things do not work out that way. If you do something about it. The end is only the marking of a new beginning. Yes, corny and cliché, hollywood, Bryan Adams and Hallmark cards all rolled up into one. But true nonetheless. Let’s just look back.

On December 3rd, 2011, at exactly 8:30 am I arrived at my office. On December 3rd, 2011, at exactly 11:30 am I was admitted to a private hospital where doctors told me not to move, there was a big chance I wouldn’t walk ever again.

It was the end of a very particular way of thinking: I’m invincible. And why wouldn’t I have thought that? I was twenty-six, I had a good job, I was healthy and had a college education. Anyone in my position never thought something wrong would happen.

And now, one year later, I realize one thing: the end of a way of thinking has just started another one.

I cherish moments that are simple yet powerful like laughing. I like laughing, a lot. I see the world by what I can learn from it and not what it wants me to learn. I write whenever I can and not when I feel like it. I see my friends but also I see myself. I praise silence. I see colors, sounds, smells and combine them. I talk to people, whoever they are, I might never see them and they might have a lot to teach me. I appreciate my body, though it has flaws, and I strive to make it better. I look at the stars whenever I can. I wake up early and walk outside, just because. I have learned from my mistakes and now say “I don’t know” or “I made that mistake and I’m sorry” with actually giving a damn what people think. I know money doesn’t make me happy; it didn’t stop me from falling and, by the way, Newton was right, there IS gravity. I listen to rivers. I’ve even begun organizing my exit from the beautiful world of Biomedical engineering to seek what I like the most. I just do!

But most importantly, I don’t plan. I do. And when I don’t feel that momentum, that drive, I think about it. Why is it that something is braking me? Am I still afraid? Of course! But I face my fears, there’s no reason not to.

Yet, I know that, no matter how much I write and tell people what to do, for good, they won’t do it. Because it’s not the end of the line for them. It’s the end of a way of thinking that was only mine. All people need to get to the end of their line to understand what I’m talking about. I just hope they do. I hope, within all that I’ve been through, that people really break that chains that bind us to the ground, to what people tell us to do and not what we want to do.

When I boarded my plane, on the way to the Niagara Falls Writer’s Conference, my girlfriend told me one thing that’s so true, it hurts to say that I didn’t come up with it. It was Lao Tzu who said:

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

So I hope all of you meet an end. All ends mark a beginning. And one you should take full advantage of.

Rivers speak wise words

Rivers speak wise words

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The Future of Health Care in the United States.


All Images belong to their respective owners.

Obamacare

This should be posted in every doctor’s office.

As the days leading up to 2013 begin to fade in quantity and the changes this new year will bring become more and more evident, many citizens may wonder where is Health Care going in the U.S. and the answer might be simpler than many imagine. It’s all matter of downsizing the population and looking elsewhere.

Because the PPACA is approved by a superior Court of Law and grants Obama and the Congress as correct in the decisions they implanted in 2010, this means that every citizen in the U.S. has to either have insurance or pay a tax (this very same tax will not be called a penalty, or fine, as some people dwelling about in the internet have chosen to refer to it), depending on their income. This tax, which comes from all citizens that generate an income within the country, goes to a big, massive, system which hands out medical care to everybody at an equal, constant and carefully organized rate.

The theory behind this is quite simple: if I make a lot of money, then the government takes more out of me than someone who doesn’t make a lot of money. But that someone, just as me, has the right to be healthy, he or she has the right to get into a hospital and receive medical treatment. If he or she falls ill, there is a chance the government will use my money to heal him or her. It sounds fair, doesn’t it? It is. It’s a socialist approach to a capitalist problem, it’s the best solution anyone could have come up with and it won’t work.

I’d like to tell you a little story: I was flying back from training in Texas. The flight had me take a connection in Houston and then fly home, landing about nine o’clock at night. As I waited, sitting just yards from the counter, I heard my name being called out: I was being upgraded to first class. This all fell as great news, more legroom, less time waiting in line, all the works, and one of the most interesting conversations I ever had.

A burly fellow, probably forty, forty-five years old, sat in seat 1B, just next to me and greeted me with a potent southern accent. He tilted his head and nodded just once; I replied and we got to talking, primarily because he didn’t shut up and I don’t either.

“So, where you flying today?” he said, fixed himself, and turned to me.

I flashed my ticket quickly and showed him my final destination. His eyes opened wide in surprise, as if he was being pranked, in a good way, and he smiled.

“I’m going there too!” He said and smacked his leg, “My God! What a coincidence!”

“It sure is,” I told him, “do you live there?”

“I do, actually,” he replied proudly, “just some miles from the airport.” It’s important to highlight that the airport in my country is located in a very warm, sunny area just about twenty miles from the capital. Right now, this place is brimming with financial activity: a new hospital was built, several Tax-Free zones have been created to promote business and residential housing is constructed in little havens with pools and open green spaces.

“Are you married to a Tica?” He nodded with satisfaction and showed me her picture. She was o.k.

“So you’ve got Social Security?”

“Oh, yes,” he replied with a devious smile. There was satisfaction in it, in that grinning gesture of success, “I take advantage of it.”

“And what do you think of the ObamaCare?” Instantly he hummed, pursed his lips in a disappointed fashion, as if I had insulted him and he was too polite to answer back, and did not respond.

“I ain’t paying them a bit out of my money,” he said. And that’s when I got to think about this plan.

In order for Health-care to work Obama Style, the President and following leaders have to change the mentality of a nation that is not willing to share. One of the primal evidences suggesting this is the controversy behind such a plan; it’s as though people don’t see that eventually, because private and uninsured health services end up imploding and creating immeasurable expenses, the citizens of the U.S. have to get used to and accept the socialist approaches Barack Obama has taken.

And they will. It will take time, but it will happen.

And, for fifty or so years, the Socialist based Obama Health Care system will work perfectly—after the rough adjustment process that is—because people realize that getting a “free” medical service is actually working for them and not against them. Since the monthly quote is smoothly retracted and not abruptly taken away, the process feels as though money is being put somewhere for them; and it is! Social Security services will grow, little by little, and develop itself into a behemoth of bureaucratic procedures. This is where everything goes wrong.

The thing is, some people go to the doctor constantly and rarely get any healthier. These people exist now, they will exist when Health Care turns socialist. These are patients labeled as “frequent fliers”. Then there are the patients who don’t like waiting, otherwise known as “impatients” (creative, I know); this is on the patient side. On the health-care professional side come those who understand that the process is, under the common conception, free, therefore people won’t leave—they can’t afford going to a private MD so they must wait—hence professionals become patient, they become used to this. After all, it doesn’t affect them. Then numbers come into play: a system that fills the medical needs for tens of millions of people will have its flaws. These represent themselves in the form of missing files, unassigned appointments which are actually assigned, system clashes between identical patients and so on. It may seem trivial to mention flaws within the system as a major cause for malfunctioning but it’s justified: these happen from the start.

Finally, and unfortunately, a socialist system bases itself on trust, something not many countries have. It’s a system in which trust is needed because doctors, with the power to assign appointments, secretaries with the power to change schedules, directives with the power to shift talent from side to side, have contacts on the other end: close friends or relatives become patients, patients need an appointment and they need it fast, friends or relatives become suppliers, suppliers need their product sold and fast—the competition’s better but this one is cheaper—while the rest can wait.
All these symptoms ironically create costs within the system; the system turns inefficient and the costs to maintain these “mandatory” symptoms (they are, pretty much unavoidable) make socialist-based Health-Care one of the most expensive in the long run. Since costs cannot be shift upwards drastically, the amount of money coming in at first will suffice, within years, when the expenses amount to and equal the income of social security, measures will be taken (too late because the expenses accumulate historically) and, eventually, the system will be forced to privatize itself in order to stay afloat. It is a vicious cycle which can be seen in various countries adapting the socialist health-care system, take a look at Russia, Sweden, Finland and such.

But, yet again, our lives work in cycles and this is just another one.

This is a light, summarized opinion about Health–Care. Heck, it’s only a rant at midnight. But it’s a rant from a biomedical engineer hailing from the country in which the U.S. is basing its social security system.

Cheers.