It has been nine months since we posted the Nurses Declaration of Solidarity and Resistance, calling for nurses to join together in expressing the values on which we will act in the face of potential US government policies and actions harming health and well-being of people and the environment. We now have over 2,000 co-signers – a modest but important expression of concern and determination to act to protect and promote health. We have heard from many NurseManifest readers with comments, some raising concerns and issues with bits and pieces of our Declaration, but many giving “voice” to their own renewed dedication to exercise the rights of citizenship on behalf of these values.
Now, nine months later, it is clear that we had a sound basis for sounding the alarm regarding the new administration’s intentions. At the same time, the underlying belief in the power of people to resist is also well-founded. The efforts to dismantle and undermine the US Affordable Care Act have not abated, and some of these efforts are beyond our reach, but the remarkable resistance expressed by people across the nation has been loud and clear, and largely effective. Indeed, there is no thoughtful person who claims that the ACA is as it should be, but the steps that it provided toward more equitable care for all have embedded in the heart and mind of our nation that we can do better than we have in the past, and that it is worth striving toward an even better way.
Yes there are many reasons to still despair. Serious, deeply embedded social and political problems like the challenges of healthcare, protection of the environment, and protections against economic insecurity seem intractable. But as we support one another in raising our voices and lending our energies to work toward the ideals we seek, we will continue to see a way forward to do what we believe is right and good.
So today, I call upon all who read this blog, to reflect on the values that are embedded in the Declaration, and in the Nursing Manifesto, and renew your focus on values that guide your intentions and that energize your actions! Share with us here things that have inspired you over the past few months, and that have made it possible to act on the values you hold dear!