OHPF Day 8

Travel time can be a gift and a challenge – isolated in the cabin of a plane, free from the distractions of home tasks and limited in interruptions by opting out of the internet services. There is an unusual sense of focus accompanying the tray tables, compressed surroundings and squared oval windows. Gazing out into the clouds, mountains, rivers and lakes below, it is often opportunity for contemplation and clarity. Quite literally an elevated experience, life looks different from this angle.

Pondering the vastness of our country and the needs as diverse as the landscape, it can feel formidable to consider taking up the challenge of influencing change on a meaningful scale. Reading American Nations was an eye-opening experience of the varied perspectives of history and retained values of the eleven regions, illustrating the difficulty in meeting the needs or finding agreement among all occupants. Are there any common threads to be found? Is it possible to create situations that serve all without suppressing any?

Moving into the work of the year, these are questions I will hold, investigate, ask and perhaps not answer. There are personal agendas, histories and emotions to consider. There is retribution sought by many. There are debts, grievances and conflicts without clear resolution. Through all of these, the concept I continue to consider is the potential unification behind the concept of health – a word as broad and as simple as we choose to make it.

What is health for you? What is health for your family? What is health for your community? Does it exist if obtained at the expense of others? Is it possible to achieve in an equitable fashion? Can we accept a lesser, though viable