by Nick Andrea
I’d like to talk about two experiences that have resulted in my gaining more holistic view of the world. In short, these showed me that nearly everything we experience is a complex intermingling of factors and never black and white.
First, I am visiting Delaware this week, where I grew up. While sitting on a park bench today I looked out across a soccer field and noticed some trees that I had never seen focused on before. They were very beautiful and every time I passed my eyes across them an experience of ecstatic beauty crossed my being. I kept doing this and the feeling occurred every time. This reminded me just how beautiful this place I grew up is.
I also visited the Franklin Institute today with my mother. We parked for four hours and it cost us $12. You could park for four days for that much where I now live. Also, the traffic was horrendous and the drivers rude. A woman cut my mother off, even though we’d been waiting longer to enter a line of traffic, and she gave us the finger as she did so. That would never happen in my current hometown.
Like that the place where I grew up, and any place, is a mixture of wanted and unwanted elements. I chose to leave two years ago but that’s not because this place is completely horrible, but because there’s more of what I want where I moved to. Everything is a complex combination of good and bad and it is always more realistic to look at them as such. Nothing is absolute, so let’s not pretend that it is. Where in your life are you looking at options as all good or all bad which prevents you from making an intelligent choice?
The second experience involves ongoing political arguments I’ve been having with people. Take healthcare, for example. I say everybody ought to be guaranteed healthcare, even those who can’t afford it, because you never know what extraordinary gifts they may contribute to society when they’re not concerned about whether they’ll be able to afford to stay healthy. Thus, I say we need universal healthcare.
My conservative friends, on the other hand, say the free market makes things more efficient because people work harder when they reap the benefits of their own efforts. Thus, they argue, healthcare should be left to the free market and there should be no universal coverage.
Both are in some measure true and both in some measure false. On the one hand healthy, provided-for people thrive better than unhealthy, worried people and on the other, there would be less incentive to innovate if everybody were getting the same blanket salary.
So, what’s the solution to healthcare? It’s going to take a mixture of the two perspectives.
This blog post is not about solving healthcare, but one possible solution is to model our system after the Swiss. In that system, everybody must buy basic healthcare therefore guaranteeing that their is enough money to cover those who cannot afford it. However, the companies offering these basic plans must do so non-profit. Yet, they can offer above-and-beyond plans on which they can make a profit. This is an example of bipartisan thinking, making the best of both worlds.
Peace in our countries, and in our world, and in ourselves will entail a clearer seeing of the life’s issues than has hitherto been popular. It will require seeing the complexity of issues, the intermingling of the yin and the yang – seeming opposites. To do this we must realize that most, if not all things in life, are neither absolutely good nor absolutely bad, but instead everything has something to offer. Can we be brave enough, then, to embrace the paradoxes of life? Can we thank our enemies and see the beauty in what we dislike?