“I thought and remembered a great deal about my relationships while I was in heaven, but not at all about my work or other earthly issues.”7 Lessons from Heaven. Mary Neal, MD
Voting is an earthly issue; politics and democracy consume our thoughts and conversations these days. What if we reframed our politics in terms of relationships? Ask ourselves: Would we treat the people in our lives the same way the governments we vote for treat particular groups of people?
People established governments to provide services and needs that individuals, groups, or communities could not pay for on their own. When governments fund roads, public transit, health care, to name a few, then the cost per person drops dramatically while expanding the ability to make these things available to all.
What if we voted based on relationships instead of issues?
We’d consider character, work ethic, integrity — we wouldn’t work with people who keep expecting us to pick up the slack nor would we say we’ll make friends with a liar because all people lie. We read reviews on businesses in order to assess if they’re people we want to spend our money on. So why do you assess a leader through their party affiliation instead of their past, well-documented words, actions, and decisions?
Would you withhold income support from your disabled sister in the way the party you vote for does?
Would you have your grandfather lie untended in his urine and feces like the parties you voted in have allowed long-term care homes to do?
Would you expect your mother to pay for her physiotherapy or her Omega 3 Index blood test or her glasses in the way successive governments have done, as they strip away more and more from OHIP coverage? Would you refuse to enforce protections for your father like the Federal government has avoided enforcing the Canada Health Act?
The Act sets out the primary objective of Canadian health care policy, which isCanada Health Act‘to protect, promote and restore the physical and mental well-being of residents of Canada and to facilitate reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers.‘
Would you pay for an administrator instead of a homecare nurse for your brother with cancer in the way successive governments you voted for have done with community care?
Would you withhold health care from your spouse so you can help a rich Uncle pay for his Land Rover, in the way the parties you’ve voted for have done through cutting nurses, doctors, specialists, GPs, hospital cleaning staff, personal support workers, community care, community psychologists, physiotherapy, blood and urine tests, preventative eye exams, and on and on?
Would you prefer to inject your child with lethal substances than provide medical, community, home, income, accessibility, and palliative care, which enhance life, reduce pain, allow active participation in society as the Federal and provincial governments you voted for have preferred to do to fill in the gap of cut income and health care?
Perhaps the words “on earth as it is in heaven” in the prayer mean when relationships are as paramount on earth as they are in heaven, then we will choose governments and create societies that let us all fully thrive to our potential.