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January 15, 1986

We know, O Lord, that to You all of life, every specie, large and small, seen and unseen, is precious. And that is as it should be.

But if man has been chosen to be overseer of your world, its builder and guardian, then he must take precedence over lesser species.

He must be given the power to defend himself against the forms of life that invade his body to ravage it, and his mind to destroy it, cutting him down before his time.

Without it, he can’t fulfill your purpose for his existence.

Though man is searching on his own for the means to protect his specie, the way is hard and complex. He needs help.

Please, O Lord, help him.

This invocation was written exactly 32 years ago. What I find interesting is the statement, “…power to defends himself against the forms of live that invade his body to ravage it, and his mind to destroy it, cutting him down before his time.”

Thirty-two years later, we definitely have better medicine and treatments, such as organ transplants, selective chemotherapies and gene therapies, and even operations on babies in-utero to correct issues before they’re born. The problem is these options aren’t available to everyone, especially with access to healthcare being threatened by the current administration, and hesitancy of insurance companies to fund expensive or experimental procedures.Deniz-Altindas, Unsplash

Politics aside, the overuse of antibiotics both to treat humans and to ensure the health of the animals we eat have resulted in superbugs, which don’t respond to typical treatments. The European Food Safety Authority and European Center for Disease Prevention and Control estimated superbugs kill 25,000 Europeans each year. The U.S. Center for Disease Control has estimated superbugs kill at least 23,000 Americans a year. For comparison, about 38,000 Americans die in car crashes yearly.

Rich’s step-father, Ted Robertson, contacted Clostridium difficile (C. diff), a difficult to cure bacterium that occurs after taking antibiotics, while he was hospitalized for pneumonia. He spent months in the hospital trying to recover, but became so weak that he succumbed to organ failure a few weeks after being sent home.

From a mental health point-of-view, we’re faring worst than 32 years ago. It’s estimated one in ten young people suffer from a mental health condition with only 30% getting the help they need. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2015, there were 9.8 million adults aged 18 or older in the U.S. with a serious mental illness.

When you consider any mental illness, including developmental and substance use disorders, the number rises to 43.4 million. Together, nearly 22% of American adults aged 18 or older, have a serious, mental, behavioral or mental illness.  

When it comes to health issues, man needs more than what the Lord can offer. He needs policies that enable people to obtain necessary care from routine screenings and immunizations to substance abuse intervention, mental health counselling, hospitalization and treatment for serious illnesses, and dental and eye care.

The precedence is for policies that help citizens fulfill their purpose of existence.

 Thanks to Deniz Altindas for the great picture on Unsplash