In the discussion of any complex matter such as the overhauling of the U.S. national health care system, there are bound to be pros and cons, proponents and opponents of various portions of the umbrella proposal. Here, as elsewhere, the process of debating specifics is an important one and a central aspect of any democracy.
Yet, debate must produce a conversation between one point of view and another, out of which a compromise or harmonization of interests can ultimately take place. Debate, to be effective within a democracy, must result in unification, not division, since the outcome will affect all people. In the present national health care debate, we find that only sometimes are people discussing the actual health-care related issues. Often, what is being discussed is not health care but personal liberty vis a vis the government, and what is being generated as a formidable aspect of this perspective is fear of the loss of one's freedom.
Fear can be generated within any debate. It is the loud voice that declaims against something, and not only against the 'thing', but against the imputed motives of those who are proposing that thing. With respect to the present dialogue, fear of loss of freedom and of a government 'take-over' is being brought before the public in a way that gains national attention and has a powerful presence. It can make one doubt what one is hearing from the President or from legislators. It can destroy trust. It can make each person return to their own self-focused motives to the exclusion of motives that include others. Fear generates division, mistrust, conflict, and a loss of hope.
It is likely that any sweeping campaign or movement toward a change of this magnitude might call forth extensive controversy. Yet whether it calls forth fear is dependent upon the balance between light and darkness within the public conscioiusness and within the conscioiusness of those engaged in the debate. Such a fear response is not inevitable. It is especially not inevitable if one is aware of energies influencing discussions and realizes that the energetic impact of what is going on has, in some cases, become more important than the content.
In the presence of these negative energies, it is incumbent on those who understand the importance of unity, of not serving one's own interests above the interests of all, and of the power of fear - to create a stable anchorpoint of truth within themselves so that wise decisions can be made and credible proposals can not be dismissed.
Governments can disenfranchise people when they are not responsive to the public interest and when they pursue their own agendas without consultation with those they represent. Fear can also disenfranchise people, since it changes the base layer of what one perceives to be real, and robs the well-intentioned individual of the ability to choose between alternatives since the choice is no longer clear.
Let us, as we move through this public debate on health care reform, remain above the manipulation by fear as we strive to remain above it within our individual lives. Let us listen carefully and with hope to the proposals for change that are being put forth, not without discussion or due consideration to opposing points of view, but with a sense that the debate is significant and that the outcome may take this country one step further toward a newly-defined, positive vision of itself.