Wednesday, September 23, 2009

the european way

The School of Athens by Raphael


Lately the ongoing insane health care reform debate has me missing the European way. I do not miss Italy so much, or loath the US so much, but I miss the European way of thinking. There is something so fundamental and civilized about how it feels to be a human being in Europe. At least there was for me. With all the frustrations I lived through, I always felt a sense of extreme civility. A deeply rooted respect for what it means to be a human on this earth. I could see it around me in the beautiful art and architecture. I could taste it in the carefully prepared ceremony that was eating. I could smell it in the perfumes and the spices.
There is nothing like living and breathing civility. And while I despised the traffic and pollution, while I struggled with what I believed to be narrow mindedness, while I missed the glorious diversity that I grew up in, I felt innately respected for my worth as a human being, and that it was the most natural, fundamental, civil thing in the world to be able to go to the doctor and care for myself and my family, regardless of my wallet, employer, social status or unfortunate gene pool.
Europe has been around for so long. So many centuries. Maybe that is how long it will take for this one most basic human right to be recognized in the young, brash, at times ignorant country that is the US.
I miss the European way.

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