Saturday, June 23, 2007
I went to one of the first public screenings of Michale Moore's new documentary, Sicko, yesterday and it was truly an inspiring event. Inspiring because it forces you to think about yourself, about our country, about our values, and perhaps most profoundly asks: "Who are we?"
No matter your political leanings, your income level, your religious beliefs, or the company you work for, Sicko is a must-see film for all Americans. It should be shown in schools and universities and at company lunches all across the country. It's so important because it sheds light (in a way that only a powerfully edited-film can) on an issue that is threatening us all: the loss of our collective moral consciousness and the erosion of our humanity.
Are we really becoming a nation of sociopaths who have so little compassion for each other that we are willing to let our elders be dropped off on skid-row and our 9-11 heroes whither without proper care?
Well of course we all want to help our family and friends and neighbors. And we do. Sicko even shows communities coming together to help search for missing children and privately organized raffles to help our 9-11 heroes. But do we really care about each other as human beings? Do we care about the collective well-being of the people we don't know who live in "The Greatest Nation on Earth"?
I am not sure how we can and should come together as a nation to resolve this erosion of our culture. Finding ways to fix our health care system is certainly a start, albeit a task of hurculean proportions.
No doubt, as Mr. Moore suggests, an important first step is that we need to be able to answer this question with pride and confidence again:
"Just who are we, anyway?"