An Attitude of Gratitude

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” — Albert Schweitzer

Gratitude is a wonderful attitude that ends up prompting you to think more deeply. A while back, I took my horse and my dog to a dear friend of mine’s farm for the weekend. Unfortunately, my horse Scarlett had a bit of amnesia as to what to do with a horse trailer. Try and try as we might, she was not going to get on. Scarlett is 1600lbs. She is part draft horse. Though she doesn’t really know her size, when you’re swinging around at the end of a lead rope while she rears up, you yourself get a pretty good idea of it. Needless to say, she eventually walked on to the trailer but not before she stepped on my big toe and ruined my pedicure.  By “pedicure” I mean that she did enough damage to possibly warrant a trip to the podiatrist. Now, I’ve been stepped on, tossed, thrown into stall doors and walls before. I’ve cracked my sternum, twisted my ankle, have had MRI’s of the cervical and thoracic spine, and I have had post-traumatic concussion syndrome more than once. To my true luck, I’ve always had stellar health insurance.  Though I have insurance, I usually take it for granted..

“Take full account of the excellencies which you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not.” — Marcus Aurelius

While pondering what to do about my toe nail, I was asked: “why do those with insurance never go to the doctor, when those without only wish to go to yearly physicals?” Now, I am American and in America that question is unfortunately valid.  America is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not insure it’s citizens forcing a privitized/corporate “health” industry.  As a legal professional that examines and therefore sues insurance companies on a daily basis, I can tell you that outwardly and audaciously shady practices occur inside said industry, and not only are these practices overlooked by regulators and commissioners, they are condoned.  People can sometimes get hurt financially even if they are insured. It’s all for nothing too because it is an industry fact that if all insurance companies were to pay every claim they got in a year at their negotiated rates, they still would never touch their reserves.  And by “reserves” I mean their money…which is tied into Wall Street.  Insurance lobbyist are among the strongest lobby groups, and they are successful in putting politicians and regulators in their pocket.  Also, it is of importance to note the little known fact that the #1 reason for bankruptcy in America is the inability to pay medical bills…not Discover card, or Visa as some slanted economist will have you believe.

In an effort to gently raise awareness to other people’s plights as well as to the powers of being grateful in general, today’s I have “an attitude of gratitude” and want to adopt this attitude for the rest of my life.  Today, I want to give thanks for my health. My body is strong, healthy and fit, and I live a lifestyle that supports optimum health. I follow three rules: everything in moderation, natural products as often as possible, and break a sweat once a day. I also want to give thanks to my employer for my health insurance. Through all of my injuries, I have never once seen a bill or was asked to pay out of pocket for anything, and my health insurance is paid for by my employer 100%. I’m truly grateful because my boss is a solo practitioner, and quite frankly he gets the short end of the stick when it comes to insurance plans. Since there arn’t many of us in our office, group rates barely apply.  The discounts that we do get will not matter the following year since premiums go up at a rate of 15% -20% like clockwork. Regardless the climbing rate of insurance, my boss cares enough about his staff to provide this phenomenal plan with no cost to us, even when it’s difficult to do so.  And it is often difficult.

Obviously, not everyone is in the same position as I.  And I know that I can’t be a one women lobby group, however, my attitude of gratitude prompts me to take some sort of action so that more people can be in the same position as I am someday.   No action, no matter how tiny is never insignificant…in fact, one small action will undoubtably have a ripple effect.  Therefore I am a ripple.  I think to myself if I was ever in the position where I was sick and needed medical attention, but didn’t have insurance or money to cover the bill…what would I do? My toe nail’s demise had me thinking about just how much I take my health and my health insurance for granted.   For now at least I can play my part by being diligent about my job. I am in the position where I can play “watchdog” and believe me…I do. My boss grants me an enormous amount of latitude and creative freedom to use my knowledge, creative writing, and powers of negotiation to the point where I have a reputation among insurance professionals that my firm is a force to be reckoned with.

“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach

As a thinking, feeling, and active member of society, if I see injustice, it is my duty and my responsibility to act, at least within my ability, because I know what it is that I know. Being thankful drives me – it pushes me and it should push all of us to take action in anything that is dear to you.

What are you thankful for? What action are you going to take today to remain grateful and push for the betterment of all?

I recommend;

Huffington Post – Wall Street & the Insurance Industry