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Life is in a constant state of flux. Change is a part of life and many people are scared of change. One reason why is it also introduces those who venture down a life path of change to the universe of “what if.” Imagine what your life could have been like if you made certain decisions differently or traveled down an alternative path. Would you have achieved your life goals and embraced opportunities that enriched your life experiences? Have you lived the life you envisioned and followed a path that has satisfied your ambitions as well as your soul? Were you satisfied with your decision to pursue a college degree or should you have opted for a military career? Are you satisfied with your career-oriented life path or should you have married your college sweetheart? These are not necessarily easy questions to answer, but they are part of life and the universe of “what if.”
There are so many questions to address in life and the answers are rarely clear-cut. Moreover, our life decisions are always associated with consequences, as are the avoidance of making such decisions. There are so many hot topic issues that affect our daily lives and require us to take a stance: Have you ever encountered discrimination, based upon gender, race, religion, and/or creed? Are you in support of gay rights? Are you pro-choice or pro-life? Do you support the right to bear arms? Do you oppose the violation of civil rights? Are you in favor of the legalization of marijuana? Do you support or oppose federal and state entitlement programs? Are you in favor of more taxation on the wealthy? Do you support or oppose a higher federal minimum wage? Do you support more funding for education? Are you in support of universal healthcare? There are many Americans who do not wish to express their opinion or chose to remain neutral on such hot topic issues. However, taking such a stance in this day and age is challenging, to say the least.
This is because the world we live in and modern-day society can be a scary place. It demands a response and recognition that all of us have an impact on one another. That our chosen paths and decisions have consequences, not only upon our own lives but also on those associated with us. Will you decide to bring children into this world or chose to remain childless? Moreover, if you decided to have children, what would you teach them–love or fear? Would you teach them to be brave and stand up for their beliefs? Would you teach them to stand beside their peers who are bullied because they (or their families) are different in some respect, due to race, religious practices, or sexual orientation? Furthermore, are you strong enough to stand up for your own beliefs, as a human being and fellow member of society?
While life and change can be scary, it can also introduce those who opt to make a transformation to the universe of “what if.” There are challenges inherent in any path followed or decision made. Case in point, whether or not to pursue a college education in today’s society. In the modern-day collegiate landscape, many prospective students’ educational futures are likely to result in years of debt, depend heavily upon the continued financial support of their parents, or could be benefitted via scholastic endeavors that may or may not come to fruition. There is also the possibility that military service could help offset a large amount of college debt. However, given the current climate and extended military engagements throughout the world, this option may not be as appealing as it once was to financially strapped scholars.
Another important issue that affects most Americans and few could opt to take a neutral stance on involves universal healthcare. It is difficult to see people who cannot afford healthcare endure illness or perish, due to the antics of narrow-minded, self-absorbed individuals, who gripe about “mooching off the system” and cannot accept the notion of “sharing the wealth.” Yet, with the complications encountered in the rollout and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which is often referred to sardonically as Obamacare, and all the crowing over attempting to repeal the landmark legislation, it has become apparent that the purpose of this signature piece of the Obama administration has been lost in the weeds. For it is in everyone’s interest to adopt and implement a system of universal healthcare in the United States. Those who are uninsured, poorly insured, unable to afford insurance, or indigent certainly deserve equal access to healthcare in this country, just like those citizens who are insured (via employer, Medicare, Medicaid, private insurer, etc.). In many cases, when these individuals are in critical need of medical assistance, they are admitted to medical facilities regardless of insurance or able to pay, which only puts the often absorbent costs back onto the government and taxpayers. This is incredibly short-sighted, inefficient, and a waste of taxpayer dollars. Why not just provide universal healthcare for all citizens, so that everyone has proper access to preventative and emergency medical care, which will save the country billions of dollars each year? The fact that there remains so much debate on this issue is nonsensical. The only lingering issue on this topic should be how to properly implement universal healthcare for all Americans, regardless of socioeconomic status or life circumstances.
Other life issues encountered in the universe of “what if” involves the still-relevant, pre-conceived notions of another individual’s “existence” or life path, and how that can be an obstacle or precursor to their success and/or happiness in life, even if they have never encountered that individual. Unfortunately, bias, inequality, and discrimination based upon gender, creed, and/or race still exists in today’s society, despite laws and regulations to the contrary. The obvious question is why are so many content to view it as if it were a societal norm or common occurrence?
These are all relevant, and in some respects, scary questions to be posed. This is because fear is often associated with change and many fear the notion of change. Much less, the harsh reality of transformation itself. Life is in a constant state of flux or change. Change is a part of life and many people are scared of change. One reason why is it also introduces those who venture down a life path of change to the universe of “what if.” What if you had made certain decisions differently or traveled down an alternative path? Would you have attained your goals and embraced opportunities that enriched your experiences? Have you lived the existence you envisioned and followed a path that has satisfied your ambitions as well as your soul? Are you college educated or have you opted for a different path (military career, vocational training, autodidact (self-educated))? Are you satisfied with your ventured path or should you have opted for a road less traveled? These are not necessarily easy questions to answer, but they are part of life and the universe of “what if.”
Opinion and Blog by Leigh Haugh
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