Win, win, win! What do you actually win?

***disclaimer *** This is just a jumble of thoughts from interacting with a bunch of people and reading a bunch of things. So if you don't agree. Let's agree to disagree ***

I just got back from a wonderful workshop on cooperatives. And we had wonderful discussions about the language we use and how much it matters. And deprogramming the capitalist language that actually hurts us. Then I also talked with a cooperative organizer and a chiropractor friend about how awesome poca is and how they wished the had something like poca in their world.

Let's tell all of our stories…

So Ms. S runs a clinic. And life is a gritty and hard and just plain sucks sometimes. She feels like she can never stop working. Another thing just broke (insert here ex. front door, toilet, lights, heat) and she couldn't afford to fix it anyways. She talked with another $%^&^% person who was just crazy or rude (insert negative adjective here). There's never enough money to go around.

Sounds familiar?

And there's no one to blame…no boss, no corporate bureaucratic structure, no infuriating colleagues.

Just trying so hard to get by.

It's terrible and unsettling.

It's not going to be like this forever right? Where's the someone to keep her safe? Where is the someone to take responsibility? Where is the someone to make some decisions? When is it going to get better?

So she looks up.

There's someone who's run a clinic for more years, sees more patients, makes more money, has more people working for them, lives in a house, etc. etc.

Ah ha!

There's the finish line!

If only Ms. S could (choose one of the following options you are allowed to check more than one

A) Make $60k a year B) See 150 patients a week C) Hire two punks)

then she could finally (choose one of the following rewards, you can check more than one

A) Buy a house B) Buy a nicer car C) Have some savings D) Get married/ find Prince Charming E) Find her glass slipper) and Live Happily Ever After.

Look… It's a lie.

It's a capitalist myth. As if an individual “triumph” can save Ms. S. from all those hard things.

“Nobody will protect you from your suffering.” ― Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

Life is challenging sometimes. And sometimes can be an hour, a day, a week, a month, a few years, and what seems like $%^%$&^ forever. Ms. S feels like it's been forever and a half. Seeing more patients just offers a different set of challenges.

More clinics are another different set of challenges. Owning a house is a different set of challenges.

There's no finish line that will save Ms.S from pain and fear.

There is only a community where Ms. S. can hold hands and help each other make it through. And that's is an incredibly precious precious wonderful beautiful thing in this isolating world of individual wins.

“Solidarity is the recognition that, in the cooperative movement, the betterment of individuals’ immediate and distant futures depends on the improvement of others’ lives and the fulfillment of their goals (and especially for those who are from less privileged backgrounds). Thus, it is essential for cooperatives and cooperators to recognize the importance of working together to support others in their struggles, goals, and efforts – and for others to do the same for them.”

Because we're much better together. Will you hold my hand?

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The theme for this conference is “Breaking Barriers”. You know, there are so many barriers to break in acupuncture that it was really hard to choose which ones to talk about for this speech. But since I’ve spent so much time talking about classism as a barrier, I thought it might be fun to shift gears a little and talk about numbers.

Responses

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  1. That’s very nice, and yes, I will hold your hand, but I still want enough money to pay off my student loan before I’m 70.

  2. Thank you Jade.

    Darlene, have you seen this?: “Your leadership is what will determine whether POCA gets behind what you want.”

    https://www.pocacoop.com/forums/viewthread/6955/

    Here’s hoping that your meaningful relationship with POCA (you know, give and take) get you what you want by the time you’re 70.

  3. Jade,
    I love this. The money issue is a huge one. I need to make more, too, but none of it will ever really matter, to me, anyway, until we’ve truly begun to collectively face the corrosive effects of competition as a basis for a civil society. Lily Tomlin said it best in one of her shows. “The problem with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”

  4. Jade, how awesome you are and how well you sum it all up. It’s so hard for SO MANY people make ends meet these days, including me. It’s never been harder, in fact.

    But if you struggle with it, it’ll take up all your space. You’ve got to let the struggle go. You need the space for your patients. Sometimes we cannot make things happen on our timeline. You can’t struggle with it, you’ve got to let it go and let things happen. Keep working on it, hard, but don’t struggle, don’t try to wrestle it to the ground, because it won’t work that way. (And I say this as someone who wants to take every obstacle and beat it into submission. This doesn’t work that way.) No patience? No patients.

    I like this: a rising tide lifts all boats. We can choose to do things a little differently and affect that tide. Think of this stuff when you go to Home Depot or CVS and there is one person watching 4 self-checkout lines – that’s 4 jobs gone. A big part of the reason our economy is in such dire straits is because so many are trying to do so much with as little help as possible. Create a job when you can, even a small one. Let’s work to get that tide rising so all of us can do better. It only works if we do it together.