Inspiration

Inspiration

There are times when you get lost in the clamor of daily life, playing the quiet tune that meets the expectations of routine demands. You play your part dutifully, riding the crests and troughs with fortitude, and not merely meandering through its course. Challenges arise and you rise to meet them. Opportunities galore and you seize them. There is much to be done and much to be thankful for. To each his own - his own purpose and his own way of life, and his own set of inspirational heroes. Those magnificent human beings who spark your imagination and whose lives are worthy of awe.

As I turn 24 today, I want to take a moment to thank one of my personal heroes - Hillary Clinton. Ever since I read her autobiography three years ago and became interested in politics in a way that I never imagined that I would, I have always admired her tenacity and her grit. She is one of the best examples of the magical combination of discipline, steadfastness and brain-power, and its sheer power to alter and define our lives.

Not too long ago,one of my best friends was going through a rough time in life because of who she was. She was in a lot of mental pain, and yet exuded such dignity and resolve. I often wondered how she was going through so much and yet remained so focused. She told me how she was dealing with it and I listened in admiration. Of the many examples that she gave me, it struck me when she spoke about Hillary. She told me about how she looks up to people like Hillary and I could not but notice how affectionately she spoke about her. I have a lot of respect and admiration for anyone who help people deal with their pain in life, and it is for this reason that I think that Hillary is one of the finest leaders of this country.

As she steps up to take on another challenge, I wish Hillary the very best. mydd is such a wonderful forum for the Democratic Party and I feel really happy to be part of it. I also want to give a big hug or a hi-fi (your choice) to those who feel the same way about Hillary. :)

Gumption

It is often said that it is in the darkest and the most meanest of hours, when hope seems to be in short supply and when almost everything perceivable seems to work against you, lies the ultimate test of human character.

I think that saying is very true. I have seen it, first hand, off people that are really worthy of awe.

I am 22 years old. Until about a year ago, I wasn't very fond of politics. I saw it as a game of artifice, a game vexed and controlled by those who have truly mastered gimmickry and ingenuity. I would have never imagined that I would be posting on a political blog such as this.

I have had an extremely blessed upbringing. I was born into a family of doctors. My parents and grandparents have given me everything and more that any child in this world can ask for.

I was in the second grade when Bill Clinton assumed the Presidency. At that time I didn't even know his name. I was too busy trying to ride a bicycle and doing my homework. My grandparents would talk about Clinton very often. They would talk about how messy things were in the country, and how little politicians cared about it. Of course, I didn't understand a thing back then. My grandfather used to say that there was a really big bank in Washington, and that people who were supposed to take care of it didn't do a great job at it.

But perhaps the most vivid memories of that time that I can relate to now are the conversations that my grandparents had with  their patients. I have seen hundreds of patients, who kept coming in even after my grandparents retired. And all kinds of them - each with their own story to tell. Senior citizens who could not even pay for a basic electro-cardiogram checkup. So many elder people with diabetes and cardiovascular disorders - those who were living alone and off their humble pensions, and those who never saw their children when they really needed them. I saw patients that were my age too - kids in their third and fourth grades who had some congenital heart defect, but whose parents could not afford to take care of them. Sometimes my grand mother used to see some of her patients and then just get self-absorbed for a long time.  

It is with this background that I formed my political opinions about a year and a half ago. I have enormous respect for anyone who works on behalf of children that are not very privileged. I also deeply admire anyone who works for health-care reform, because I know that it matters more than a lot of other things in  everyone's lives. I have seen the pain and the suffering that people go through. I have watched people die of heart-attacks, only to learn later that the poor soul could not even bother to get his blood-pressure checked or to go through a basic medical checkup - all because he thought it cost too much and more than what he can afford.

It wasn't until two years back that one of my friends told me that the Clinton administration had attempted to usher in universal health-care back in 1994-95, but that they were not successful. I was also told that Hillary Clinton led this effort back then. I was mildly impressed, but I wanted to learn more.

I read Hillary Clinton's autobiography, where she charts the attempts made by Bill and her for universal health-care. I read the bit about her work for neglected and abused kids, and how she championed the SCHIP program in 1997. And almost immediately, I knew that she had my support. Ever since, I have become politically active in ways that I never thought that I would. I have read every inch of her policy proposals on her website and listened to a lot of her stump speeches. And I really like them - they are in sync with what is needed and what we ought to get from the next occupant of the White House.

Steadily, over the course of time, I have come to admire the tenacity and resilience of Hillary Clinton. She is a tough and intelligent lady - probably with more brain-power than any other politician in Washington today, barring the exception of Al Gore.
She has endured a campaign of personal attacks ever since Bill took office. The Republicans have called her all kinds of things and has suffered personal crises that are not very easy to go through. Yet she has emerged strong and remained unruffled all along.

How is it that a person can repel attacks after attacks? First those that were coming off the opposite party. But now a liberal activist base of her own party and the entire national media. Only a person with deep faith and resolve can be the kind of resilient person that Hillary is. She has worked for under privileged children and those without health-care. Those are noble acts, which in my opinion have shielded her from all the negative attacks directed against her.

There are some people that just don't understand the enormity of health-crises that families go through. So when I saw false ads being touted in Ohio about Hillary's health-care plan, I was just so taken aback. Universal health-care is something that we should achieve.

Over the past months, I have tried to tell as many people as I can about the Hillary's health-care plan and why this is so essential. I have called up friends and relatives. To many of the folks who had a bad idea about Hillary, I have told them patiently about why I think they should be voting for her. And I am proud that I managed to convince many of them. My grandparents  are no more, but I am sure that they would have agreed with everything that I have done.

Yesterday, when the results of Indiana and North Carolina were getting beamed on TV - with all the usual one-sided punditry and misogyny, I felt really strange. I realized that it was all over for Hillary. And it did not feel very good.

My memories just ran back to all those wonderful years that I spent with my grandparents, and felt really nostalgic about my grandmother. In many ways, Hillary Clinton connected to me in a way that no other candidate can or ever will. She reminded me so much about my grandmother. And before I knew what was happening to me, tears were flowing thick and fast on to my lap, for the first time in what seems like ages. I just didn't know what was happening. I felt a strange sense of loss which I couldn't explain - a sense that something noble was ebbing away, and a golden opportunity to fix our problems was slipping away.

To everyone here on mydd who supported Hillary and vouched for her, you have my gratitude. I thank you for your support and for all your diaries. mydd is a great forum for the Democratic Party and there are some really good people in here.

I have decided to move on, to try something on my own individually, rather than place my interest in politics, because  I don't think politics is going to solve any of our problems, not least fixing health-care.

I am sure that were my grandparents alive today, they would have been proud that I stood by the right candidate for a right cause. They may no longer be with me, but their values are still alive because I carry their genes.

So to all the Hillary supporters who want a high-5, please take one. For those that are not too old for a hug, take a hug. Others can join me in a game of football.

Thank you.

*Update* I'm really speechless for the flood of messages and emails that I have been getting since I posted this diary. I'm really very happy. It is just great to know that Hillary has such admirable and noble supporters. Godspeed on you all! Cheers everyone! :)

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