Use the Stairs!

That fear of elevators is real (Elevate Her, August 2009).

However, there are many people who almost never use the stairs. My husband, Jim Gonsalves, uses a power wheelchair. When I’m with Jim, I use the elevator. If a multi-story building has no elevator, we just don’t go there.

After the Loma Prieta earthquake occurred in 1989 in the San Francisco Bay Area I did walk down 13 flights of stairs in San Francisco, where I had been working.

And, by the way, walking up the stairs is certainly good excercise.

Mary Marshall Fowler, Oakland CA

Meditation as Stress Buster

Runjhun Nupoor (Divine Connection: The Supreme Relationship, August 2009) gives an excellent suggestion for using meditation to relieve stress and depression. I use the same concept myself: of God as my ultimate father and mother in my prayer and meditation. Fortunately, my Zoroastrian religion teaches one to consider God as a friend and partner of man.

Recently I was consoling a woman and her little children after performing a funeral ceremony for their husband and father. I told them that just as we pray to God even though we cannot see God, they could light a candle in front of a picture of their loved one and talk to him, because his soul is still there and loves them and watches over them. They felt better with that thought.

Maneck N. Bhujwala, Huntington Beach, CA

Health Care Reform

For-profit insurance companies and rabid Republicans are saturating the airwaves with blatantly false advertising in a desperate effort to torpedo health care reform. According to reporters at MSNBC, “hired guns” have been retained by the health care industry to disrupt town hall meetings and drown out proponents of health care reform.

This health care war is not Obama’s Waterloo but the Waterloo of the American people. Sadly, Obama has already buckled under pressure and has stubbornly refused to consider a single payer option. The administration is throwing more money at a thoroughly dysfunctional system with its amorphous public option alternative.

Currently, 50 million people are uninsured, and another 50 million under-insured. One out of every three health care dollars is gobbled up by the for-profit system, including obscene executive salaries.

Scores of people have testified before Congressional committees voicing their outrage on being denied health coverage by insurance companies whose primary goal is to maximize profits.

It is time for the American people to raise their collective voices and demand a single payer option—a Medicare-for-all-style health plan with the power to negotiate drug purchases. Failure to do so will doom millions of Americans to financial ruin or worse.

Jagjit Singh, Los Altos, CA

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