“What kind of health citizen are you?”
September 9, 2013
I am proud of my “I Voted Today” sticker after every election. I often display it all day and find it stuck to the inside of my washer drum in the next laundry load. At its simplest denominator, a citizen is by principle afforded the right of being included in a group’s decisions. Sure, we could discuss until we are blue in the face how much a weight a vote in a representative democracy really holds. When I think of my job of being a citizen of any group, I am accountable in some manner to the group if I am not gerrymandered out of the process. Not unlike the idiom “we are in this together”, this cannot be more true in terms of health burden. The solidarity means that all of us have culpability in the collectives’ improving health. But each of our investment in this solidarity differs in our (re)actions, involvements and values. This knowledge should, in theory, affect the role that each of us play in bettering health outcomes. But can and will citizenship overcome the medical reality that years of collective neglect have brought? How do we get people to give a darn and become a card-carrying Norma Rae?