Perhaps the finest thought contained in Ernest Hemingway’s writings was in his Nobel Prize-winning novel, The Old Man and the Sea. The thought is, “Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.”

In America, we are obsessed with materialism. We never seem to have enough. Cars, clothes, furniture, gadgets and other material things to excess. Sometimes we get sick over the desire for more things. Then we need health care. Now we are arguing like barbarians over what kind of health care system we should have.

The old man in the sea wasn’t successful in bringing in his big catch, but at least he may have had good sleep that night. If we gave up our obsession with things, and learned to live peacefully with each other, maybe there would be less need for the “perfect health care system” and we could someday end our “conflict-ridden politics” over health care and other matters.

William Becic
Oak Park

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