On the “long march” through California this fall (and across the country last fall), with surprising consistency, the size of our audience was inversely proportional to the size of the community. Indeed, almost three hundred people greeted us for our last event in Chico, far surpassing any of our audiences in L.A. Perhaps people in smaller towns feel more empowered. Perhaps webs of relationships are more interconnected. Who really knows?
During our long drive up I-5 to green Oregon, we pondered another question. “Was the California Road Trip worth all the effort that went into it?” The denominator is measurable in money, time, and a substantial carbon footprint. Measuring the numerator is more elusive. By most accounts, the MAHD Road Show was entertaining and many people deepened their understanding of why our sick care non-system remains profoundly broken. We made new friends in every community. We gained greater clarity. We had fun and we consumed our share of margaritas. But what energy did we leave in our wake as we moved to from town to town? Is anybody we touched even reading this? If so, please respond. Your perspective is valuable.
I know it feels better to toil in futility than wallow in defeat. I’d like to think we are tilting at windmills. More accurately, we are storming the Bastille with rubber spears. We aren’t going to make real progress until there are masses of people who understand the health care conundrum as we do. How do we create a wider and wider web of relationships to make this happen? How do we get the right kind of media attention, long enough, to explain the flavor and texture of the real health care debate that needs to progress beyond the sound bites that feed people’s fears? Lots of questions. Not many good answers.
In any case, it’s nice to be home with the family.