Not everything needs to be a war
December 12, 2017
Ireally want to tell you about the cowboys and possibly even the cowgirl in the group horseback out here herding cattle in from the fields. Shipping cattle back over the hill before heavy snow comes to stay in the valley. But the season of comfort and joy is upon us and violent incidents, which have settled as a horrible acceptance of life compels one to share a simple solution to decrease violence.
Simply let us stop our internal wars by not labeling them as such any longer. No war on drugs. Instead let us call it solution seeking. Have more health professionals, scholars, and the general public educated in the area of mental health to understand why individuals practice self-harm, become addicted to substances or unhealthy behaviors. Let's not call our need to solve our society's drug addictions, often related to mental health issues, a war, but a complicated situation needing understanding, resources with compassion, and positively corrected.
Eliminate the phrase war on poverty. Poverty has a correlation to poor mental health, affecting crime and drug use. Let's understand poverty, the inequities built into our economic system that favors the haves, not the have-nots. Stop treating being poor as criminal, people to be avoided with a contagious disease. Instead call needed programs an investment in our future with job training, counseling, strategies to stop generational poverty cycles.
Speaking of generations no war on families. It is, giving credit to Darwin, adapting. One mom, one dad with a van of kids need not be the standard. Sometimes two moms or two dads get to drive the van. Some people elect to not have children. They make great aunts and uncles. Families need only be supportive and kind, offering the best they have to the rest of their nuclear and/or extended families.
No more fighting cancer. Label it the Herculean effort it is to cope with and heal from the disease. Label as "courageous heroes" disease sufferers, their families, as well the scientist, and health professionals who spend incredible time and energy understanding the mechanisms of cancer and similar insidious diseases. As a society let us encourage the best and brightest into education and industry to discover the mechanisms causing cancer. Everyday heroes need kind caring support not violent war images to face diseases devastating their lives.
And lets stop accepting the concept of war profiteering off the sick and dying. Actively ask publicly and privately to not allow insurance companies to make a profit off of illness. Sure allow insurance companies to pay the expansive salaries they do to actuaries and executives and bonuses to sales staff and hold ample reserves to pay out loss expenses, but not create a profit. Profits posted proudly off the sick on financial statement each quarter is repugnant. Not a good industry mission spiritually. There will always be the sick and dying.
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And lastly, stop calling it a war on Christmas. Pope Julius established Dec. 25 as Jesus' birthday in 336. A smart man who knew enough to incorporate already established practices of honoring returning sunlight into Christianity for popularity.
Whatever your reason to celebrate this season, do it with love, compassion and understanding. Let's stop creating artificial wars. Change our mindset from violence to kindness. This season is not the reason for conflict. Have a happy holiday!
Marie Johnson is a Carson Valley rancher.