13. Story of Us – New Tune Tuesday #13

story of us cover

 

In the last finals week of my college degree, after 4 grueling years of study and learning, I found out I was really sick.  I was tired all the time, ill with weird colds, coughs, and fevers.  I thought I was just a full-time student, with a full-time job and too many responsibilities, and too many dreams about being a famous actor and playwright in New York City.  But then I got too sick to ignore it any longer, and I found out I had the cancer leukemia.

Leukemia: Dyed purple for her pleasure.

Leukemia: Dyed purple for her pleasure.

School was over, New York was over, and acting was over.  I had to quit my job.  I lost friends.  I lost weight.  I thought my life was finished.

But there was a clear plan to get me better with a pretty damn good prognosis for survival. It would take three years of a dozen different chemotherapy agents, and being pretty much incapacitated for the first year.  It was a hard pill to swallow.  Literally.  But the choice was clear:

Start chemotherapy now and have a chance at life.  Or do nothing and die within a few weeks.

So I chose life.  And I found out that the human brain is an amazingly adaptable thing. And family and community can materialize seemingly from nowhere if you are just willing to ask.

My mother quit her job as a professional nurse and moved in with me and cared for me in that first year when things were the hardest, and the tears came the quickest.  We not only destroyed the cancer in my body, but I destroyed the sick and arrogant ego–based on personal gain, money, and ambitions–I had built for myself over the years, and instead I built a life of true happiness, physical and mental health, and a desire to create sustainable, life-giving structures in the world around me.

I emerged a better, more well-rounded person, with mature relationships with my parents, new friends, and new thirst for life.

During my years of treatment, my mind was awakened. After cataloguing all the ways that our country and world are falling apart, after sinking into the lowest lows of depression because of the images of our polluted air, streams and rivers, our fragile ecosystems dying off in football field sized chunks, our civic centers collapsing from budget cuts and mismanagement, and our fellow human beings denied their humanity by a government that cared less and less to represent them—I understood that all these problems arose from one: money in politics. Our politicians spending more time raising money, and paying back favors, than they spend on what we hired them for: representing OUR legislative interests.

This list just deals with job and income policy. Even with our Do-Nothing congress, the wealthy still get a large percentage of their wish list passed, while the poor continue to lose more and more. There's also a large split on gun control, abortion rights, gay marriage, universal healthcare...and not between democrats and republicans, but between the wealthy and everyone else. Everyone needs a voice, not just the wealthy.

This list just deals with job and income policy. Even with our Do-Nothing congress, the wealthy still get a large percentage of their wish list passed into law, while the poor continue to lose more and more. There’s also a large split on gun control, abortion rights, gay marriage, universal healthcare…and not between democrats and republicans, but between the wealthy and everyone else.

I came to realize that no matter who you are: white, black, democrat, republican, gay, fat, skinny, rich, poor, male or female, mother or son: we are living in a dying body.  Our democracy has been hijacked by money, just as my body was hijacked by a mutated white blood cell.

So once I UNDERSTOOD the problem, once I had the diagnosis, I had two choices:

Let our democracy die?  Or choose life? We need to take the medicine:  swallow the bitter pill of amending our constitution, and wake up.  To realize that we can’t just keep doing the same thing every day.  Once we understand the problem, we can’t just fall asleep again.  I can’t just show up at my job, collect my paycheck and then check out with TV, drugs, books, friends, or fun.  It’s time to show up and be an active citizen and fix this problem before it washes everything away.

And, just like in my life, we will emerge a better country because of this fight.  This won’t just heal the sickness, it will create a new way of thinking, and a new way of BEING a citizen.

We may not have money, but we have our voices, and we have our votes.

WE have to be the leaders for our politicians.  State AND federal.  THEY are looking to US for leadership.  So let’s lead them.  Let’s create a free and fair election system.

Will it happen tomorrow? Probably not. But we can start today.

Will you join me?  I’ll give you your next step, just let me know you’re ready.

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If you really are interested let me know!  Wolf PAC is super organized, running something in every state, and they have an incredible plan to bring free and fair elections to everyone.  Let me know if you’d like more info!

-Sam

sam.wessels@gmail.com

 

Sam Wessels

I am a writer, composer, actor, and gamer, with six musicals written, one piano album published, and one boyfriend to come home to. Come back each tuesday for a new and original piano performance.

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