Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C Program Manager, Oncology Social Work
JANUARY 20, 2017
Whatever your politics, this is a very important day. Every single conversation that I have had in my office this week, whether with an individual or a couple/family or a group, has included at least some comments and reflections on the momentous changes that our country is enduring. I have been reminded that I can't be sure of anyone's political stance, and that it is most important to be respectful and to work towards understanding one another. We are all on the same side.
I am especially proud of the women from my weekly metastatic cancer support group who are going to DC to join the rally tomorrow. Again, whatever you think of their beliefs, isn't it fantastic that women who are coping with such enormous problems feel motivated to be part of the national conversation?
In thinking about what to write about today, nothing seems as important as stopping to recognize the greatness of our country, the fact that we do have a peaceful transfer of power, and that we are all encouraged to express our thoughts and beliefs. In this vein, I hope that you will take time to read (and, yes, it is long) this article from the New York Times .
To Obama with Love and Hate
On a recent October morning in the White House mailroom, on the ground floor of the Executive Office Building just beside a loading dock, 10 interns sat at two long tables, each trying to get through 300 letters. Grab a bundle, sit down and read. It was pretty straightforward: Read. A girl doesn’t want her mom to be deported, and can the president please help? A guy finally admits to his wife that he’s gay, and now he would like to tell the president. A car dealer writes to say his bank is shutting him down, and thanks for nothing, Mr. President. A vet who can’t stop seeing what he saw in Iraq writes a barely intelligible rant that makes his point all the more intelligible: “Help.” An inmate admits to selling crack to all those people but he wants the president to know he is not a lost cause: “I have dreams Mr. President, big dreams.” A man can’t find a job. A woman can’t find a job. A teacher with advanced certification can’t find a damn job. A lesbian couple just got married; thank you, Mr. President. A man sends his medical bills, a woman sends her student-loan statements, a child sends her drawing of a cat, a mother sends her teenager’s report card — straight A’s, isn’t that awesome, Mr. President?