Saturday, July 14, 2007
Private Dialogues on Public Issues
While on vacation last week, I saw the Michael Moore's brilliant new documentary, "SIcko". We've all been there: in the place where we've hesitated about getting needed health care until we can figure out what's covered by insurance. So why isn't America discussing this issue? I've decided it's time for mediators to take a crack at it. I've invited an elite corps of commercial and community mediators together in the Fall to begin to promote public dialogue on the health care system in America. I intend to invite elected officials, insurance and hospital owners or at least managers and free clinic directors with a hope that this will begin a respectful process of discussing the issues, better understanding the various perspectives and lending our skill set to the fray with a goal towards initiating needed change. Why do movie producers get to have all of the fun? On another note, over my holiday I read my favorite book of all time, "A Thousand Splended Suns", by Khaled Hosseini. As agitated as I was after watching "SIcko", Hosseini's book made me feel darn lucky to have been born in America, raised my children in a land that valued personal freedom, and generally followed a code of law with which I could abide. If you have a summer vacation planned, I highly recommend you read it. It's haunting, but ultimately gratifying and beautifully written. The story takes place in more or less modern day Afghanistan, beginning in the 1970's. It is the story of two women's lives, how they intertwine and are affected by the political events over the past thirty years. It is written by the author of "The KiteRunner", which was also a fabulous read. Hosseini was born in Kabul, but has been in the United States since 1980. Bravo for bringing these stories to life and bringing these hard topics to American readers!