19 Apr A Crisis in our Culture
During my shift in the Emergency Room last night, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient whose smile revealed an expensive shiny gold tooth, whose body was adorned with a wide assortment of elaborate and costly tattoos, who wore a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and who chatted on a new cellular telephone equipped with a popular R&B ringtone.
While glancing over her patient chart, I happened to notice that her payer status was listed as “Medic…aid”! During my examination of her, the patient informed me that she smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and somehow still has money to buy pretzels and beer.
And, you and our Congress expect me to pay for this woman’s health care?
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 on 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. (Dr: Anonymous – written to President Obama)
The following is an email I received from my sister who lives in another state:
I subbed at an alternative school last week – it was awful. Those kids are losers, they’re bad and proud of it. I’m not subbing there ever again- insubordinate, rude, e.g.:
- “I slapped a teacher, that’s why I’m here.”
- “If my mom hits me over the head again with that d- – – shovel, I’m runnin’ away for good.”
- “ I lost my virginity when I was 14 to a 37 year old woman”.
- “My grandpa’s 75 and he still does drugs- that proves that drugs don’t kill.”
Most of them are on probation. This other poor kid said his mom was in jail forever because she was busted with a ton of meth- impounded their car – “that was a f—- good car” he said. They say the ‘f’ word in there all the time. I tell them “stop the language” and they say “sorry miss” and then they say it again. They don’t even know they’re saying it. I said “you guys need to be sitting in Sunday School and learning about God.”
I know you’re probably weary of all the talk of culture crisis and even more weary of the actual culture, but I believe it’s imperative that we continue to address it. It is especially important to find ways to turn it around.
You can see from the school teacher’s example, that a lot of this is generational. Horrible attitudes and lifestyles of fathers and mothers passed on to their children: swearing, violence, drugs, bad marriages, casual sex, etc. If we are guilty of any of these behaviors – STOP IT !
When I was a young mother, I had two or three favorite cusswords. I would use when frustrated or when trying to drive home a point to children (I grew up with these cuss words – and more – in my environment.) Then I began to hear my children saying these words and it horrified me. I began working to eradicate that bad habit. My husband and I had tempers in those days and that is not a climate for children. Children are afraid of a lot when they’re young, and a screaming mom and dad don’t help at all.
Now my children have children of their own – and guess what? – they have tempers and can cuss when the ‘right’ occasion arises. As someone once wisely said: “too soon old, too late smart.”
Children are not reared in a vacuum. They will learn attitudes and habits in their home that we as parents do not realize we have. I wish as a young mother, I had understood that. I see much more clearly now (“too late smart”).
Next week, I will have some treasures to share with you on ways to deal with the pressures and trials of family life (and life in general) that have helped me tremendously.