Making Healthy As Desirable as Rich or Good Looking-My 2017 Fantasy

My Dear Reader,

I feel guilty. I asked myself as I leisurely strolled to  work this morning whether there could be such a thing as “Black Privilege.”  I decided “No”. One might be given additional “points” in a point system created by white people- but this is not privilege. There maybe some advantages like having stronger skin, but that is such a minor advantage – if an advantage at all- in the scope of this country’s social, educational and economical issues.

I got to this question by asking whether or not I should be held responsible for paying for a group of unhealthy Americans? The way Obamacare is set up in Maryland, I am paying for my unhealthy group of 60 year-olds who refuse to diet, exercise, stop smoking and generally fail to care for themselves. “This is not fair”, I said to myself as I walked by the large medical clinic in my neighborhood where outside people stood smoking.

I then thought to myself why doesn’t the Surgeon General of the United States create a sweeping campaign against smoking and bad eating? Then, I reminded myself, that there have been campaigns and the rate of smoking may have fallen, but people will keep smoking as long as there are tobacco lobbyists and the product remains available to consumers.

Then I became annoyed that there thousands of people who are overweight and on cholesterol medication and/or diabetes medication. Why isn’t there a sweeping campaign concerning eating well? We could cut the cost of expensive medicine by simply eating well. Then I remembered that there are big pharmaceutical  companies with lobbyists who are promoting the dispensing of medicine rather than the curing of illness. Another deep sigh.

Then I thought perhaps it is my duty to help pay for a growing group of aging Americans.  Despite the fact that I have worked hard, gotten educated and kept myself healthy, the Maryland Healthy Exchange is  not structured for someone like me. Instead that system is designed to get me to help pay for people who need help with paying for their insurance.  Certainly, I don’t want things to go back to where we were before Obamacare, but I want to get a cost break for staying healthy, just like I would get an auto insurance break for not getting into accidents or getting traffic tickets.  I think there should be some element included in the calculation of health care cost for those of us who are healthy.

Naturally, thoughts of insurance had to make me think about our President Elect and wonder if he will look into the huge profits that insurance companies and drug companies are earning and do something about them. It is one thing to provide universal insurance- something the Obama administration tried to do, but could not; it is another thing to expose the structure, practices and profits of insurance companies and drug manufacturers.  I think the next administration should focus on these issues rather dismantling a system, while not fair to the middle class, at least provides a health umbrella for those who may lose insurance and need help or just need help. However, a healthy person who does not burden the system should not have to pay the same as person who does burden the system- especially if their illnesses can be prevented or mitigated by healthy life style choices.

I don’t have an answer. I will keep walking to my office and eating healthy and exercising and hope as a country we begin a dialogue that being healthy is the new thing to do.



Christmas Presents to the “Strangers” We See Everyday



My Dear Readers,  Photo by Val Kelvans

I give and give through out the year and because I am not religious Christmas is not a special time of giving. Now, don’t get me wrong. I gave presents this year and I gave generously.  This year I realized that there were people unrelated to me in any way that worked for me through out the year and it was important to me to recognize their continous giving to me.

I am privileged to live in a building with a 24 hour concierge service and valet parking. The people who work at the conceirge desk have worked at my building for years. Day after day they sign for my packages, deliveries, and let workers and help into my home. They are polite and courteous, despite whatever attitude, I  chose to display on any given day. So, these people who guard my privacy and collect my deliveries and generally help me manage my life- got presents this year.

My work family also got gifts. I am not the easiest person to work with. Some times I am short tempered, impatient and down right rude. Yet, and no they are not pretending, these people continue to do their best, to show up on time and to please me. They are good people and I spend more time with them than I do with any member of my family. Since I have no significant other- I spend most of my time with these kind, patient people.

There is nothing I can ever pay or give them to make them like or respect me. They just do. I am extremely grateful.

Finally, to my colleagues who are as brilliant and quirky and individual as I am. We are sometimes short with each other; often we disagree; but we never never never lose respect and genuine affection for each other.  Each of these people inspire me everyday. I wonder that they are both my colleagues and my friends.

As this year ends, I find myself rich in friends and generous co-workers. These people who chose me and I them are who make my life worth living.

For my beautiful, kind and generous family members- and you know who you are- I stand in amazement to how  thoughtful and generous and kind you are. I love you all and thank you for making my life as rich as it is.

This year I add you my dear readers who have supported me this year. I extend my gratitude and love to you.

With all of my love and the light of the universe,