This is from a blog I wrote June 8, 2009 after the Health Care Kickoff Meeting per Organizing for America with little direction.
On Saturday, June 6th, I took the lead for President Obama's Public Health Plan through the Organizing for America. President Obama says we need to fix health care this year. He walks a tight rope because if he goes too left, it looks like communist medicine. If the goes too right, it looks like business has bought him out. He wants Reduced Costs, Guaranteed Choice, and Quality Affordable Health Care for all. A base minimum plan where another plan would step in for extra costs of care. June 6th was the planning meeting for a June 27th community service activity. I chose to host a meeting because when I searched on the Organizing for America (OFA) meeting, there was NO meeting in my area! So, since I was unemployed, I need experiences to add to my resume, I also thought I could expand my business opportunities, and I had just completed this health facilitators volunteer course by a local coop hospital, I had the courage to step up and host a meeting. And I chose to host it at my local library, because my house is too small to hold a meeting with non-neighbors (strangers).
We had 32 people attended the meeting I hosted! I was amazed! Everyone bandwagoned at the last minute. And while I do not like that, whatever... My meeting was the first planned in my area because that is the way I roll... I operate in that manner! My feeling is not a matter of arrogance, it is a matter of fact, I successfully operate when I am ahead of the curve than when I wipe out!
When I finally got the "Host Guide", I printed it out and followed it as close as I could follow. I organized the materials in nice, neat piles to share with the attendees, I coordinated a time & location, I contacted the OFA to make sure I had the latest accurate information. I paid for the copies out of my own money, never to be reimbursed!!! I conceptualized, interpreted, developed and formalized the Powerpoint slide presentation--ME!!! MYSELF!!! NO ONE PAID ME!!!
So, after everyone arrived to my meeting, I get treated like "the messenger" of OFA because I support the President's Public Health Plan. Health care, in all forms, is important to me, personally. I have been involved in Health Care for ~30 years!!! It is my training as a research scientist in molecular genetics with a Ph.D. It is my business and I act on it. Health care MUST change and the POTUS has requested us to do activities. No one is forcing anyone to do these activities, it is a request! If people choose not support the POTUS, that is their choice. But Health Care Reform must happen this year, absolutely! The question is how?
This was May and June 2009! The anti-health care foes, the status quo, the belligerent changers had nearly 3 months to get themselves together, create a plan for reform and enact their policies forward. No, rather they CHOOSE to harangue the President Obama, label and people who support health care and create lame arguments against health care reform.
I know it reform is needed when I see a homeless encampment thinking they have no choices for their health care and downtrodden already when seeking what government waste pays to care for them. Then when this economy tanked, millions of unemployed Americans with chronic illness, infections, toothaches and battle scars cannot be seen by physicians who have given oaths to do no harm, but these insurance CEO collect billions! I am told this is NORMAL AND DOES NOT NEED TO CHANGE! WHAT!!!
During the Health Care Kickoff meeting, I was heckled. Organizing for America does NOT pay me to say anything I came under my own volition because that is how much I know health care must be reformed! Reform = justice! There has been gross injustice that has been going on for decades and the disenfranchised have been alienated for too long! For too long we have been operating on 40 year old rules, is it not time to reform these laws. Medical technology has advanced prolifically so. Why remain in the primitive stone-age and have a health care public option commensurate with the 21st century?
Yes, I chose to host this event under President Obama's Organizing for America. I was heckled by the few people who never organized any event in their lives! Due to the heckling, and my lack of preparation for it, I suffered from severe panic attack, deep depression and agoraphobia!!! Bipolar disorder can sometimes elicit a secondary symptom of high anxiety, leading to a panic attack. My depression occurred after, where all I could do afterward is cry, even after several supporters said I did a great job! And I fear going in public because I cannot handle being harassed. If I was educated about their tactics, I would have a better chance enact guerrilla tactics... There are quite a few devices to use to quite it. But only when you know it exist or can operate quickly on your feet--but that even requires training at some point. I had no training, and I was told I did a sufficient job handling ignoramuses. And I am not one to really enjoy trying to find fights!
I wanted to do community service because I know how beneficial it is. I love community service from my days as a church deacon and a member of my Sorority. During the Kickoff event, we were asked to brainstorm what kind of community service event the group of us would like to do. I actually received support from the co-op trainers on brainstorming! There is a method. The groups that did their brainstorms, presented several good ideas, i.e. educate people about health reform, why it is important, at a health group that supports homelessness, disabled and elderly, etc. The core group who liked to work thought of a "Pea Patch" efforts and healthy eating and getting more people to share their health stories and volunteer.
After the event, I cried profusely, slept for most of the day, couldn't motivate myself beyond the humilation of not knowing or at least the feeling that I looked like I did not know anything about healthcare. In May or June, 2009 the public did NOT have enough information on Health Care Reform. Well, now we know. My local Sunday newspaper only had articles that bashed President. There are several reasons why. This experience left me with a very bad taste in my mouth. And while I can see some rays of light, 9 people said they want to plan a community service event with me, it still says you get some crazies that actually DO need psychiatric evaluations.
What pisses me off is that I didn't see them PLAN a meeting... NO ONE told them to attend my meeting. I continuously emailed them that this meeting was "scripted", so that if they disagreed with the activity, they did not have to attend. I am a health care person NOT a policy person on healthcare. I just want something different from what we already have. I would prefer reduced costs, maintain choice, and quality affordable health care for all--what the President asked us to do. My community needed to be uplifted and I would be overjoyed to be a part of that, have my business a part of that and go down in history to make that difference!!! But, planning an COMMUNITY SERVICE event to be yelled at sucks, especially when I am unemployed!
Breathe... I did a formal practice mindfulness exercise during a heated moment of the Kickoff and I found that it shuts down the crazies. This practice is one of the guerrilla tactics that can be used. Other tactics are singing, chanting, dancing--which in fact, why are people having sit down townhall meetings on HEALTH CARE meetings when a part of health care is physical fitness! At the start of shouting, do jumping jacks or some heavy duty cardio or "EVERY BODY DANCE NOW"--have fun with it! Work it out! People can't be that angry after the rush of endorphins! Use the biology that humans were born with! The other issue is when one uses mindfulness or other meditative response, they are attempting to come from a place of peace, love and calm to educate with patient reserve. Responding from this place at least brings people willing to listen, and even if they disagree, it is respectful. Mobbing, bullying and hostility is a spectator sport, puerile and ignorant. Returning it in anger, shows lack of preparation, discombobulation, and inability to take seriously. Some worry about weakness when being mindful or meditative, no, "to whom the gods wish to destroy, they must first make them angry"... A true teacher, educator, mentor does not get frustrated and use anger to destroy someone, it disrespects the other person's right to exist. To evolve, we humans cannot resort to old primitive mentalities that fail to propel us beyond uncontrollable disgusting dung.
After all the mobbing, bullying and hostilities, I am proud that I was a part of Health Care Reform during this summer. I am glad I took the lead because: If not me, then who? If not now, then when? I just need to calm down with guided imagery, behavioral health appointments and find support from people who believe that have foresight and vision! All that is left is me and I have been harangued since birth!