Publisher’s Corner: The Winds of Change

A brisk west wind is beating the Old Webster banners outside my office window. The temperatures are heading down again after a January Saturday topping 70 degrees. Some call this a cleansing wind as it blows away the dust and dirt from dormant days of winter. No real January thaw because you have to have a freeze to have a thaw. I saw a flock of robins (yes a flock) in the neighbor’s yard. Many robins actually don’t migrate it seems and often flock in the winter. And a Barred Owl has made his presence known perching close to our front porch and back deck. I think he has his eye on my daughter’s Chihuahua, left out in the yard to do his business. Everything seems strange when the wind blows like this. There’s a gust of wind blowing through Washington these days as our new president begins to test the bellows he has been bestowed. Fanning the fire for many. Heating up the rhetoric. Many suggest a cooler head, thicker skin and not so many late-night tweets. I have told my kids for years, nothing good happens after midnight. And they just laugh and tell me I am a relic. I tell them to watch out if the wind is blowing because it does more than muss hair and ripple skirts. An inspired breeze brought out thousands of Women Marchers recently reminding us all that we are a nation built on the right to peaceful protest. So many human rights, health and environmental issues are under fire. Fueled by a President who finds Twitter a better avenue for discussion than Fireside Chats. These days, there is very little “social” about social media. It is dangerously too easy to tell an apple it is rotten when you aren’t floating in the same barrel next to them. The healing winds of change need to blow the dust from our ears so we can hear each other and the hatred from our hearts so we can feel each other. If millions of people with health coverage are suddenly without care, then the winds will shift and the pain will be felt by us all. Taking a Donkey off and putting an Elephant on the health care letterhead does not make it better. Stop the grandstanding and waving the checkered flag. The race is over and the challenges are too many for another victory lap. We need smart, compassionate hearts and minds to craft a health care plan for all our citizens. If it’s an Elephant, fine, if it’s a Donkey, fine, but let’s not end up Dead Ducks just because healthcare became a political football during an election. I feel like we are playing the biggest game of the year and the football is underinflated. Repeal and Replace? How about Improve don’t Remove? Be careful where the winds of change take you. You can stand fast against the storm or topple to the gusts of indifference. Someone once told me the difference between a Statesman and a Politician is a Statesman works for the people and a Politician “tells you” they work for the people. If they have to tell you over and over, they are probably trying to convince themselves more than you. Wet your finger and stick it in the air and see which way the winds of change are blowing today. Tomorrow the breeze could shift and we might all be left holding umbrellas in a hurricane.
Blown Away, J.B. Lester; Publisher

On a personal note, it is with great sadness that a good friend of The Healthy Planet, Gretchen Nirmal Karros, passed away recently. She once told me she was the “original alternative person” in the St. Louis area teaching yoga and meditation. She was with us for 9 decades and brought light and joy to so many. She will be missed but not forgotten. #Love