Birthing babies and bills into law: the similar process of fruition
I’m currently writing a short paper on how legislative bills become laws at a state and federal level, as well as how us occupational therapists can advocate/lobby for our profession in the political arena. We’ve been learning how to navigate these processes in our advocacy course in my first semester of my post-professional doctoral program in occupational therapy (we’ll end up with an OTD). Today I realized bills and babies have a lot in common. Here’s a rough-draft of possibly the first paragraph of this paper, we’ll see. Seriously though. Bills and babies. Who knew?
Legislative bills and lovable babies are remarkably similar in the amount of time, complexity, and pain involved in the process of their creation. First, you (ideally) have an idea, then you collaborate with other(s), then you decide to “join forces” in conception, and then you wait to see what happens. After a month or so, you find out if conception was successful. You let everyone know, and spend a lot of time protecting and nourishing this inchoate creation, with regular check-ins to ensure it’s developing as expected by protocol. If anything is awry, you act quickly to handle the concern. If everything is fine, you can just look forward to seeing the final product, but you keep up check-ins just in case. You know all births are different, so you try not to listen to the horror stories of others, but logically you know it is always somewhat painful. Luckily, with support, and barring any complications, it’s bearable, and you know the results are worth it. It’s a labor of love. Right after the birthing process is over, you stare in awe at your little creation. You can’t believe that a year ago, all you had was an idea, and now, you have a reality. Eventually, thanks to all the rewards you reap from your existing creation, you forget how arduous the process was, and you start the process of creation all over again.
Blah blah blah, advocacy advocacy laws bills legislation blah blah blah, gotta keep writing. 🙂