Sunday, September 19, 2010


As the general election date draws near, party darlings are scrambling to paint themselves as American as apple pie and as true as the red, white and blue. Though the passion is present in all camps, the rhetoric and platforms vary widely.

I'm sure, savvy though we may attempt to be, we each may find ourselves confused when candidates and lobbyists "sell" their groups' positions. When the individual shouts of "lo here" and "lo there" grow into a dull din, step back and look to the people to take the pulse of the nation. Two reports found in the media made a huge impression on me this week.

The first was the two-paragraph letter written by an ER doctor named Dr. Roger Starner Jones concerning what he calls the "culture crisis" at least partially at the root of the country's "health care crisis." It's simultaneously stirring and sobering. And it's gone viral. Friends posted it on one side of the country and now it's being copied and posted on the other in a day's time.

After treating one too many patients whose money was spent on everything but their own health and healthcare, Jones said:

I contend that our nation's "health care crisis" is not the result of a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. Rather, it is the result of a "crisis of culture" a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on luxuries and vices while refusing to take care of one's self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. It is a culture based in the irresponsible credo that "I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me". Once you fix this "culture crisis" that rewards irresponsibility and dependency, you'll be amazed at how quickly our nation's health care difficulties will disappear. Respectfully, ROGER STARNER JONES, MD.

On a happier note, I found inspiration in one of the most unlikely places--a show called "Undercover Boss."

On first inspection the show appears to be another recipe for human over-exposure and self-aggrandizement, but not so. I've come to love this show because it showcases the "little guys" behind the scenes who keep American life running as we know it.

Tonight, I fell in love with a Russian immigrant named Igor who works for 7-Eleven. Igor, a supply-truck driver who delivers goods to the stores, arrived in America with fifty dollars in his pocket and a hunger to grab hold of the American Dream. Some may say that dream has eluded him because he works the night shift while his wife works during the day, leaving them only the weekends to connect. Not so, says Igor. This father of two feels he is immersed in the dream he sought. "America is the greatest land on the earth. You people don't know what you have because you have always had it." Pretty refreshing attitude. And humbling too.

So two diverse glimpses or America presented themselves this week. One glimpse shows what a feeling of entitlement produces. The other shows what happens when gratitude prevails. Amazing, isn't it?

(Laurie's newest release, "OH SAY CAN YOU SEE," the story behind the writing of the Star Spangled Banner, is set for an October 2010 release. View the trailer at:

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