Overwhelmed With Joy/Stress!

This past Sunday I wrote a blog regarding Mary Jane and my 41st anniversary.  I was overwhelmed with joy at the response that we received!

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I was watching a documentary, last evening, regarding the stress that Americans are, yes…overwhelmed, with in the United States.

The program is, ‘One Nation Under Stress,’ and it examines the, ‘root causes of failing life expectancy in America.’    Av/TV CLUB

Dr. Gupta concluded that income inequality is causing  ‘deaths of despair,’ and that, ‘Americans are dying sooner, increasingly self-medicating with drugs and alcohol, and committing suicide at alarming rates.  The unifying factor for all of these conditions?  Stress.’    Salon

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‘Suicides have gone up 30 percent in the last 20 years’…much of which, according to, Dr. Gupta, dashed expectations.    Salon

Jobs have been lost to automation and outsourcing and wages have dropped.

We have been raised to expect to do as well, or better than our parents, and have discovered that many of our expectations are not achievable.

The program went on to exam the income inequality in the United States and found that, although the United States, is the highest of wealthy nations it is similar to the income inequality in Sudan, which has the very rich and the abject poor!

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It seems that we do not feel, particularly, stressed until we look at our neighbor and our colleagues and others…and discover that they have much more than we do…and that they do not appear to be working harder or accomplishing more than we are?

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The film went on to look at the health benefits of social cohesion.  It showed that communities that have a strong social culture have longer lives.

We need each other!

Today, there is such a, violent, division in people that, often, we socialize with a few member of our family and little more.  Do you know the names of the people that live on your street?

‘It’s the community and the social cohesion.  I mean people think of those as sort of euphemisms, nice things to add to an academic paper, but frankly you find societies all over the world have some of the same problems that we do, and yet because of their social cohesion, they appear to be fairly protected.  We don’t have that.  We don’t have systems in place to nurture and foster social cohesion.  If anything, it is becoming more fragmented, more individualistic, more siloed of than before, and were seeing the impact of that.’    Salon

Many of Mary Jane and my, happy anniversary, comments came from friendships that we had formed over thirty years ago!  In the little church that we were all members of…we spent a significant amount of time together.  We also, were a group of people that had something in common, modest means!

Throughout my career at SIUC’s Building Services…we often experienced a family atmosphere.

backlit dawn foggy friendship

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When my friend, Barb, left our department she paid Building Services  a lovely compliment when she said that our office was the most family like atmosphere that she had ever worked in.

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When I hear from friends, many of whom I no longer see on a regular basis…and who’s, gracious, comments about Mary Jane and I are, primarily based on our association of over thirty years ago…I am overwhelmed and my stress level is reduced…dramatically!

My stress level was, appreciable, reduced during my years at the university, due to our department working for a common and noble goal…the recruitment and retention of our, precious, students!

When you are depressed…and have no one to talk to…you slide into despair!

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Capitalism kills many people through it’s inherent inequities as demonstrated in our country.

Often the person that has more than you do…may not be working as hard as you are…and you may be smarter than they are?

Many of the rich in our country are the beneficiaries of family and friends and connections that are not available to the society at large!

When we let wealth be the arbiter of wisdom, or success, or God’s blessings…we have created a toxic environment  for the majority of humanity!

What if when we die…and we look for the streets of gold and the mansions….instead….we find a cobblestone road and a rustic country cabin?

wooden house on a forest

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