American to the World: Sorry for these 9 Things


Dear World,

Just wanted to let you know that, even though people like Grace and I live in the United States, we don't completely live in the United States. What I mean is, we don't agree with or live the lifestyle that has been growing among many of the people who live here.

Therefore, I'd like to apologize in the hopes that it could keep some of us from getting hurt. We get it. We've seen firsthand how the majority of this country treats people who either don't agree with it or genuinely need help. So, here are our apologies:

1. We're sorry about Barbie and Ken. It seems we forgot to print "this behavior should stop at age 4" on the box. Not all of us believe life is about how you look. Many of us have experienced real hardship like chronic illness and death, as opposed to not being voted most perfect people on the block.

2. We're sorry that our country has slowly been adopting the philosophy of "Help those who can already help themselves." Some of us still know the difference between fighting for what we need, and fighting for what we want.

3. We're sorry about the misinformation over health issues in our culture. The ease of a cheap burger is advertised as more of a benefit than avoiding the serious pain brought by heart failure and the like.

4. We're sorry about the lack of value toward education. We know that many here are still trying to shove information into children. The right way is reaching children and adults where they are, drawing their interest out and adapting our curriculum to support them and their families. The word "teacher" often strays more toward billboards and television than people.

5. We're sorry for those of us who do not speak up and question everything. Many of us are tired of supporting the fear that keeps us from knowing we have as much power as anyone else.

6. Sorry, not nearly enough is being done to improve the darker attitudes about where we live. As long as someone is in the game, healthy and does not need help, they may never see the maze of inefficiency and lack of interest in the sick. Social Security spends a lot of resources on telling people how they'll be supported if they need it. They don't say anything about the typical 1 to 2 year wait time and the costly fight that goes with it.

7. Sorry to those of us who've been made to feel like there's a war that few people know about. Many have been left in the gutter to fend for themselves but told not to break any rules to survive. Much of our government presents itself as strong and all-seeing. That's what comes out when someone breaks rules because they can no longer fit the cookie cutter, fit-in-or-fail lifestyle. Meanwhile, they look like the schoolyard bully's victim when faced by a large company that demands tax breaks or other things the average person never sees.

8. I'm sorry about the infectious, backward priorities. When a family business is not allowed to grow by bullying the rest of the world, it's an act of war. When someone dies before they can get rest, food, shelter and medical care, it's not. Someone reversed the wires.

9. I'm sorry I had to get sick to realize all of the above. If I had known then how wrong this felt for even just one person, I would have told everyone!

Many of us know that there are no people who can make change, other than the people who know it needs to happen. If we don't have the strength or courage to fight the good fight, some of us learn and change our behavior until we do.

Right now, the gaps between rich and poor, sick and healthy are so far apart that we can hardly hear each other. We know what happens when people ignore pain, in our bodies or in our communities. Problems grow until they get out of hand. I'm seriously afraid for what may already be on its way. More terrible things will happen if the majority of this country doesn't find more than a band aid and a pat on the back for the pain of kicking people to the curb.


Reposted by original author from "Navigating Illness and Disability A road map for the sick, their caregivers and the simply curious."


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