Saturday, April 13, 2019

Despair - the Stressed Society

Yesterday I saw the new HBO documentary “One Nation Under Stress" from Dr Sanjay Gupta.  He was talking about the alarmingly growing number of deaths caused by opioid overdose,  hepatic cirrhosis and suicide and how all had a common theme: despair. Incredibly, because of this alarming statistic, US life expectancy has decreased over the last three years, for the first time since the great wars or the time of pandemics.  In this documentary they mentioned that high levels of stress impair the part of the brain responsible for feelings of empathy. Stress blocks your ability to think, and paralyses you. This really hit me: that we live in a stressed society full of despair leading some of us to hide in drugs and alcohol, which many times leads to suicide.

I grew up in an under-developed country and I can’t understand how the richest society in the world can be so depressed, what are we missing? How is it that Americans can’t find hope to overcome difficulties?

In general you would think that the wealthy are always better than the poor, but in the United States the wealthiest are not the healthiest, why? Two groups stand out, people preoccupied with status and money will have high levels of continuous stress and so will lonely individuals. Both are more likely to die faster.

The documentary talks about The Rosetto Study (Italian American immigrants in Rosetto, Pennsylvania) with their health advantages, and about other studies of Hispanic communities that tend to live longer. In both groups they saw much lower levels of stress and attributed it to having these two magic ingredients: good strong social support and close relationships with their families. These people were not only happier, but healthier.

To have healthier lives we have to care for each other, talk to each other.  If you have good healthy social relationships, these will help you live longer, cope easier with loss and difficulties. Instead of taking medication for everything, you cope and overcome difficulties and come out stronger. We all need help, we need to care and be compassionate with each other.

How are we raising our new generation to overcome despair? I grew up in what I perceived as a  happy society not because we had all our problems solved or that we didn’t have problems at all, but I think that we grew from a parenting that taught us about struggle and preparedness to overcome difficulties, as a family, as a community. My dad was an example of living a joyful life, the kind of person that will tell you a joke everyday, he would make sure that we laugh, play outside, and enjoy little things like listening to good music while cleaning the dishes, or washing the car on Sundays while having fun, not as a task to fulfill. He would make sure we enjoy work and have fun while doing it.

We were taught fortitude, courage, temperance, tolerance, humbleness, forgiveness, compassion, gratitude, confidence, cooperation, acceptance, humor, love, generosity; mostly by example.

I think that when you try to fix everything on your own, or medicate all your problems away, or attempt to live without God in your life,  you will eventually find out that you are lonely, that you have so many limitations, that the job seems so big that you tend to give up and fall into despair. When you live a materialistic life, your desire to have more and more things, can never be completely fulfilled, you will then feel that emptiness, and sadness to see yourself as a failure; again falling into despair.

Life doesn’t have to be like that, shouldn’t be like that. It is our job as parents to create that sense of security among our children having open conversations and giving them the tools so this does not happen to them. We have to teach them that we are social beings, that we should be altruistic, help others, build strong loyal relationships with friends and family, with social support, family support; making the effort of knowing God and letting him get involved in our daily life. God is all about hope, happiness and freedom.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Respect

In a world where insults and evident acts of disrespect are strewn all over most news media and virtually in all social media, teaching our children about respect is urgently necessary.
  • Respect is the most important virtue that our children should embrace. 
  • It must be engrained in them that in order to be respected, they have to respect others. 
  • Respect must be shown always, in all environments, virtual and in person.
  • Show respect in order to earn respect.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

"Children want to see their imperfect, dysfunctional parents dance in the kitchen..."


"Children want to see their imperfect, dysfunctional parents dance in the kitchen, say "I love you" when they get off the phone, pray together, kiss as they say goodbye and speak highly of each other. Those moments of affection provide assurance to our kids – the world isn't all bad. Things are going to be OK at home."



From a great article you can enjoy by clicking here.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

World's Toughest Job - Happy Mother's Day!

Check out this great interview for the world's toughest job...




Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, April 24, 2017

On Dating: Helping Our Children Find Mr. or Ms. Right - Part 5

[This is the fifth and final installment in a series of posts based on ideas, thoughts and inspirations we have read and collected on dating and that we have been trying to transmit to our teenagers and young adults since their pre-teen years]

The other's family will be your family...
It is very important to truly know his/her family, feel comfortable, loved and welcomed in his/her house, around his/her extended family, living and sharing their culture, food and traditions. You can get a good picture of how they are in a few weeks, you don't need years to find out that you are, or are not, meant to be for each other the rest of your lives.

Follow the right steps...
First meet the person, then talk about your and his/her life, show interest on the things he/she does, build a friendship, then create trust, understanding, sympathy. You then have a true relationship that allows you to share some more of your personal, intimate thoughts. After a prudent time, you commit and get engaged and then you seal that relationship for a lifetime with marriage, to love and serve him/her all of the days of your life. You share intimacy and have children, so they can be born on a place prepared to receive them, inside a family ready to take care of them.

Boys, be gentlemen...
Treat women with care, with respect. Don't send her by herself on an Uber or Lyft after a party for God's sake! Open the doors for her, bring her chocolates, flowers, surprise her.  Have good manners when eating and talking. Take good care of yourself, exercise, shower, perfume, deodorant - always! Admire your couple and never stop growing and learning as a person, feed your soul and pay attention to your spiritual growth. You should feel that she represents you, that the world stops when she arrives.

Girls, be ladies...
Demand respect and give respect, dress appropriately, laugh, be smart, take care of you appearance. Emphasize relationships based on the depth of a conversation, not only on the shallow base of the senses. Be elegant, move slowly, give the boys their place, admire your couple, be professional, keep growing and learning as a person, feed your soul and pay attention to your spiritual growth. You should feel that he represents you, that the world stops when he arrives.

Finally...
Life is short, so don't sell yourself cheap, aim high; you deserve the best and you are able to give the best and live a peaceful, joyful life, based on trust and respect.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

On Dating: Helping Our Children Find Mr. or Ms. Right - Part 4: Warning Signs too.

[This is the fourth installment in a series of posts based on great ideas, thoughts and inspirations we have read and collected on dating and that we have been trying to transmit to our teenagers and young adults since their pre-teen years]

In a previous entry, we had mentioned addictions, disrespectful behavior, lack of commitment and indecision and the controlling type, as warning signs. 

The following are other warning signs to be on the lookout for.  To be dosed out repeatedly, with prudence, and age appropriately:

The impulsive type, unable to have self-control in actions and reactions. He or she is with you in public and is not focused on you but on others; lacks commitment; is simply not capable to be in love and faithful to one single person. He or she is not interested in having a plan for life together, having goals together, grow together; not interested in your improvements during life. 

The one that lacks a relationship with God. He or she has to share your believes and traditions. He or she should be open to accompanying you in your believes and should not be an obstacle in your spiritual growth. He or she should help you be a better person, faithful to your religion; should be able to align forces in order to raise a coherent family. He or she should have visible virtues like generosity, order, responsibility, prudence, justice, faithfulness, temperance, fortitude.  "If you see your boyfriend making jokes about church members or traditions or if he or she mocks or disrespects your believes, sacred places or persons, these are all warning signs. You need to be able to pray by your husband's or wife's side in case of an illness, tragedy or moments of great joy."

The unfaithful.  He or she "loves you in his or her own way", is not ready to commit,  is unable to make sacrifices, is unable to let go of others and be exclusive. Likes you, has a good time with you, shares lots of stories with you, spends a great time with you, but is not ready to move forward. If he or she is unfaithful while being your boyfriend or girlfriend, it is more than likely, almost guaranteed, that they will be unfaithful during marriage. 

---
Others in this series: