Open Dialogue

Are We Broken Beyond Repair?

 

“A house divided against itself cannot stand” ~ Abraham Lincoln

 

            Over the weekend, more Americans and foreign nationals were killed or injured in shootings in Texas, Ohio, & Illinois.  I’m not going politicize these acts of violence unless you consider a plea for people to come together and have open discussions about what is happening in our country to be a political act. To repeat, I’m not politicizing, I just want people to talk and work out a plan to help prevent these atrocities from happening again (and again, and again).  There are people on both ends of the spectrum of the gun debate…those who feel that gun ownership should be an unrestricted right to those that feel every gun on the street should be impounded.  I’m sure the answer lies somewhere between those two, far opposing views.  I have my own ideas and thoughts on the matter as I’m sure most people do…but the time to keep victims of these senseless acts of violence in our thoughts and prayers has long since passed…now is the time for action by our nation’s leaders.  Now is the time to come together and have open discussions and not point fingers to assign blame.  Now is the time to look at the naked facts of these types of crimes and come up with a solution.

 

            The question you must ask yourself is what is more important?  What core beliefs do you value higher than others…write it down on a list so you can examine it.  Do you value the constitution?  Do you value life?  Do you value safety?  Do you value community?  Do you value being ‘right’ more than ‘what’s the best solution’?  When it comes to the question of guns and public safety, it has become an issue that has deeply divided our nation…one more issue where people have incredibly strong feelings and are willing to become belligerent to defend their point of view.  People have become so entrenched in their view as the only way that nothing is being accomplished and innocent people continue to die.  The answer lies out there if only people will take time to sit and have an open dialogue…present their views in a rational and fact-based manner.  I think people might be surprised what they can accomplish if they set feelings aside and discussed things in the terms of what is possible versus what is impossible.

 

            I have friends and family that are in both camps of this debate and both sides have very strong feelings on the matter.  I have my own ideas that could find the middle ground, but compromise requires both sides of the argument to give a little ground on their beliefs in order to help us all in the end.  The arguments for both sides of the issue are limitless and circular but, in the end, something needs to be done and the only way to get things done is for both opposing viewpoints to come together and act...together.  Communication…open dialogue…factual information…the ability to work for the common good.  These are all things we, as a nation, must strive for.  Social media has given all of us a voice…a voice that can carry far and wide.  We often use that voice to lash out, to disparage the opposing viewpoints through cruel words and memes.  These actions only act to drive the wedges of distrust further into the fabric of our society…will we ever be able to truly trust people again?  Has America gone so far down the path that we can no longer recover?  What drastic catalyst will occur that brings people from behind the walls of their own agenda and work towards a common goal again?  I fear what that catalyst might be and the horrible cost it will have to extract before people will come together again to work for the common good of humanity.

 

My goal here is to prompt people to think about what they value and to prompt real thought, not just the rhetoric of their viewpoint.  What are people willing to do to help make America a better place to live?  There are so many dividing points here in America…but I truly believe that there are also things that can bring us together to.  I have hope that we, as a nation, can find solutions and keep moving forward versus pointing fingers and blame.  Yes, there are many things that we can point our fingers at but in the meantime, people continue to die.  We, as a nation, must address this before it becomes too late.  Left, Right or Centralist…we need to find a way forward together because in the end, we need each other to make America a better place to be…together.

 

As schools start up all over the country, I hope that everyone has a safe year full of learning and free from the tragedies that have haunted our nation for years.  Take care of yourself and each other, remember, we’re all in this together.

 

Wm Reid

Best Home Care Services

325 N Eastern Ave

Connersville, IN 47331

765-827-9833

wmreid@bhcshealth.com 

Fighting Hate

What Happened?

 

"…go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."

~Donald J. Trump, son/grandson of immigrants to the United States

 

            The news has been filled to overflowing the past few of weeks with the words and actions of the man who holds the highest office in our country, and those actions are an embarrassment to that office and to the country it represents.  This is not about politics…this is not about picking sides for who you feel will lead our great nation back to respectability with our fellow nations of our ever-shrinking globe.  This, my friends, is about human decency and the efforts to bring the people of a nation together for the good of us all versus the extraordinary efforts to split us apart using fear and hate to keep us from truly reaching our full potential as members of the human race.

 

            First let me say, that no one person is perfect…but in our daily walk, we should always strive to be the best version of ourselves and give a helping hand to our neighbor if and whenever possible.  Too many people have become so jaded that they can no longer listen to rational lines of thoughts and thus close off their mind to discussion.  We as a people are better than that.  We, as a people, are full of kindness and love.  We, as a people, can truly make a difference in our own lives as we reach out of our comfort zone to help those around us.  I believe that humanity…the people around us, are basically good, but that mob mentality can twist that goodness towards cruel ends.  We all have fears, but we cannot nor should not let those fears dictate our behavior to accept and normalize hatred.  I want to repeat that, we, as a society, cannot and should not let our fears lead us to accept and normalize hatred in any form

 

            I confess, it disturbs me greatly that I find myself having to write about this topic today because I thought, as a country, we were moving beyond bigotry…we were moving past blatant and outright hatred for our fellow man.  I am the first-generation son of an immigrant on my father’s side and a distant descendant of an immigrant on my mother’s side.  Chances are that whoever is reading this and living in the United States, you’re the descendant of an immigrant too!  One thing that has always made our country so strong and unique is that we have been the great melting pot of the world…as immigrants have come here, they have added their culture to our ever-evolving nation.  Our language, music, art, food, government, system of law, and even religion…everything we know and do has been brought here by someone else.  The United States is a cauldron in which our predecessors have tossed culture into the mix to make us who we are today.  As different waves of immigration came to America at different times from different parts of the globe, there was always fear and bigotry…but as a nation we should have evolved beyond that…and yet, here we are again.

 

            From the bible, in the book of Matthew, Jesus tells his followers that the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart and the next greatest commandment is like the first in that, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. [Matt 22:39].  If you are a follower of the golden rule then, “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.”  In short, humanity should be about striving to get along with each other in a loving and compassionate manner.  Treat others with respect and if they shun that respect, keep showing compassion.  My mother always said that if someone is being intolerant and shortsighted, shower them in kindness…show them the light of happiness through kindness and compassion and they will soon change their behavior.  It works…more times than not, kindness and love will win out over hatred…try it, you may be surprised.

 

            I am not trying to sway your political views…that would be a folly on my part.  What I am blatantly trying to do is to have you examine your own beliefs and behaviors towards humanity.  If you accept the new status quo that hatred and bigotry is ok, what does that say about your core beliefs?  If hatred and bigotry is not ok in your book of core beliefs, then what are you prepared to do about it?  Silence is acceptance to hatred…take a stand and reach out.   If I lift you up, we all rise…this is my mantra, it is a core belief that has developed in myself over the last twenty years…and I hope to instill that belief in my children as they grow.  Kindness is free, a smile is free, these things cost us nothing but can mean the world to the person on the receiving end.  People, we need to end the hate rhetoric and start working on embracing our fellow human for the betterment of us all.  We need to set aside our fears and go about our work of making this world a better place to live, not just for our children, but for ourselves too.

 

            Take care of yourself, and each other, remember, we’re all in this thing together.

 

Wm Reid

Best Home Care Services

325 N Eastern Ave

Connersville, IN 47331

765-827-9833

wmreid@bhcshealth.com 

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Fear

Fear

 

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

 ~ President Franklin D. Roosevelt First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933

 

            When President Roosevelt dropped that little nugget of wisdom on the United States, our country was in the grips of a Great Depression unlike anything our country has ever faced.  FDR was clear in his thinking that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.  This statement holds true today more than ever as our nation is slowly being ripped apart at the encouragement of our nation’s leadership.

 

            There are six base emotions that we, as humanity, feel every day in some form or another.  These six emotions are happiness, sadness, disgust, anger, surprise, and fear.  The way we react to a certain situation is based on these six emotions and those actions ride our emotions like a child riding piggyback on the back their parent.  If you think about how a child clings to the parent for safety and comfort, so too our actions cling to the way we all respond to outside stimuli.  Today, I want to talk about one of these emotions and how it is driving our country in a direction that is not in the best interest for America at all.  Some of you may disagree with me but I ask you to think about what I’m going to write with an open mind.

 

            We all have fears.  Worry is born of fear and the things we worry about tell us a lot about ourselves.  Common things most people worry about are financial, health, safety, and relationships.  Let’s break it down further…financial worries are linked to money, employment, shelter, food, transportation, education, clothing, technology, shelter, healthcare, and anything else that involves money.  Health concerns involve our mortality and for some people, this is their major worry. More and more people find themselves in a position where they can no longer afford to take proper care of themselves, will I go to prison for trying to care for my own body, or will the government restrict my health options anymore? Safety includes the ability to safely care for one’s own self and the safety of their family.  Do I have a safe place to live, do I have clean water and safe food to eat?  What is the condition of the world around you?  Will a new war break out, are you likely to get hit by a stray bullet fired from a gun, or will your children come home from school alive?  Relationships bring on a whole new set of worries too, am I safe in whom I love?  Am I safe from verbal or physical abuse?  Will someone love me for who I am, and will society allow that love to exist?  And many people are starting to worry about their ethnic origins and whether or not they will be allowed to stay in the United States even though they are confirmed citizens. 

 

            People have a mountain of concerns and worries to deal with day in and day out.  Anxiety and stress are high in our nation because we live in a world full of uncertainty.  All this fear and worry are accelerated by the seemingly lack of care by our current government.  Our nation’s leadership seem to thrive and enjoy creating a world full of fear and then shrug their shoulders when confronted with the derisive atmosphere they are creating.  Fear is the base emotion and the byproduct is hatred, mistrust, bigotry, and racism.  Fear is a lifeblood for these negative behaviors and the lifeblood in the manipulation of millions of people who see our president as a savior.  My question to all those good people, who is he really saving and why?  All we have to fear is fear itself…people, we need to look for hope, not despair.  Our nation was built on hope as people from all over the world came to these shores to start a new life…I’m afraid that hope is gone as our current government sees fit to close our borders off to people and instill fear to the point people believe that he is the only one capable of alleviating that fear.

 

            I ask you to read the news and become informed.  I urge you to seek hope instead of hate. I beg you to follow the ethics of love thy neighbor and do onto others as you would have them do onto you.  Random acts of kindness, love, compassion, tenderness, and good old fashion care for humanity should be our shield and sword against fear and loathing.  Continue to fight the good fight and be known for your brave commitment to honesty and integrity as you go forward and live the light of hope, not fear.  Take care of yourself, and each other…remember, we’re all in this together.

 

Wm Reid

Best Home Care Services

325 N Eastern Ave

Connersville, IN 47331

765-827-9833

wmreid@bhcshealth.com 

Apollo 11

Apollo 11

 

“We choose to go to the moon.” ~ President J. F. Kennedy, September 12, 1962

 

            Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch date that would take Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins on their 76 hour/240,000-mile journey to orbit the moon.  On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and Aldrin would take the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle and land it on the surface of the moon near the Sea of Tranquility.  Two hours after landing, Neil Armstrong stepped out of the lunar module and became the first human in history to step on the surface of the moon saying, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.  We landed on the moon because we decided to do it as a nation.  President Kennedy brought great hope and enthusiasm to the project we he gave his speech in 1962 encouraging the American people to get behind the project.  The task of landing on the moon was not a simple one and it literally took hundreds of thousands of people and billions of dollars for that single moment of history to happen.  The program came under intense scrutiny after the Apollo 1 accident that left astronauts Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Ed White, and Roger B. Chaffee dead after an accident occurred while running tests in the lunar capsule. Despite the tragic loss of the Apollo 1 crew, NASA continued forward with the development of the program that ultimately came to fruition in July of 1969. 

 

            How did we do it?  Common knowledge has been shared that our smart phones of today have more computing power than that of the computers that were used to get man to the moon.  So how was it possible to do the things we did in the 1960’s?  one reason the program was so costly is that it took an estimated 400,000 people to get Apollo 11 to the moon and back.  Engineers, mathematicians, physicists, men, women, and every skin tone in America worked together with a common goal in mind of getting to the moon.  We were in a race with the other world powers, namely the Soviet Union, to put a person on the moon first.  Science and math got us to the moon first, science and math are the foundation upon the space program was first founded and it is science and math that will continue to keep America on the cutting edge of technology in finding solutions that will help safeguard us and the world moving forward.

 

            I write about the Apollo space program as a reminder of how important science and math are for the development of our nation.  We are currently facing a crisis where the leadership of our nation and several members of his party have dismissed science completely and the value it brings to all of us as a people.  The policy of our leader in the White House has commonly referred to the effects of climate change as fake news but I’m afraid that the science is quite real, and the concerns of climate change are gathering steam despite the current administrations constant denial.  Even a blind person can see the weather patterns gradual change from what they once were…the gradual warming of the planet will have far reaching consequences on plant and animal life on this planet and the science of it is not fake news or a hoax to scare people.  People should be scared because it is true and there is all kinds of data to prove the point that climate change is real.

 

            People should be alarmed that the current administration is spending countless dollars to revive the coal industry and is cutting dollars that could be used to further clean and renewable energy. President Kennedy challenged a nation to go to the moon if only for the fact that we could do it because we choose to…American could once again lead the world in setting positive examples of progressive scientific thinking if only we choose to do it again.  America has become bogged down into different camps because of political beliefs…politics should have noting to do with whether or not we choose to be leaders in the scientific community to save our planet or not.  We should all want to make our world a better place for our children and it shouldn’t matter what political party you believe in…the science doesn’t lie.

 

If we can put a man on the surface of the moon, we can certainly make an effort to help save the only planet we live on.  Science is a health issue as without it, our health as a people will decline to levels not seen in years.  It won’t matter how much you exercise or how well your diet is balanced if you can’t breathe the air around you or if the water in undrinkable.  On this, we can not bury our heads in the sand, we must all have a voice to help save the world around us.  When I say, take care of yourself and those around you, I’m serious about that because we really are all in this thing called life together.

 

Wm Reid

Best Home Care Services

325 N Eastern Ave

Connersville, IN 47331

765-827-9833

wmreid@bhcshealth.com 

Magic Milestone

Title IX

 

In 1972, as part of the Educational Amendment Act that played a significant role in changing the landscape of education in America, Title IX was a huge step in advancing opportunities for women and athletics.   Basically, Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”  If a school is receiving federal dollars for any programing, no person is to be discriminated against on the basis of their gender.  The idea is that women should have equal footing when it comes to playing sports (and many other opportunities).

 

Two weeks ago, I wrote an article about the phenomenal success of the United States Women’s Soccer Team since the early 1990’s.  That success is linked to the breakout of programs available to young girls all across America since the Educational Amendment Act of 1972 came into law and Title IX was enacted on this date, 47 years ago.  To give you a little perspective, in 1972, 1 in 27 girls played a sport, in 2016, that number has jumped to 2 out of every 5 girls involved with sports.  Barriers have been broken down across all male dominated sports at almost all levels.  Women in the United States have had incredible success not only in international sports like soccer but also in ice hockey and basketball.  Traditional male sports like football, baseball, wrestling, boxing are seeing more and more female athletes filling the ranks at the youth level.  If you can play, then you can play…it doesn’t matter what gender you are…the love of athletic competition isn’t strictly for the boys but for everyone.  Not everyone agrees with this philosophy and the playing field is certainly not a level one despite the best efforts of those who believe in fairness and equality.  At the collegiate level, universities might have equal numbers of men and women’s teams in their athletic departments, but the flow of cash is certainly not distributed equally.  Some sports are more expensive…football compared to field hockey…but even still, dollars are not always distributed fairly after considering all the circumstances.  Like I wrote before about the U.S. Women’s National Team (soccer) compared to the men, the men get paid more on average despite the women’s team drawing more spectators.

 

Title IX has brought about great change for girls and women alike.  The hope is that the changes seen on the field of play will also translate into changes in the real world where more and more women can be treated fairly and with equality in the work force and elsewhere.  People tend to be afraid of change as it forces them out of their comfort zone…but change is good…change promotes growth, innovation and forward-looking developments.  Title IX came under heavy criticism when it first came into effect, but the resulting changes have been for the overall good of athletics as a whole.  We now live in a world where girls in this country can achieve a level of stardom in a variety of athletics that was once thought impossible before.  The proof is in the pudding and all anyone must do is look at the number of young women participating at the secondary and post-secondary school levels.  In 1972, less than 300,000 girls were involved in high school sports…in 2015, that number had jumped to over 3,500,000 girls engaged in high school athletics.

 

I have a fundamental belief…If I can lift you up, then we all rise.  If we, as a society, can help raise each other up, we all benefit. It’s not a communist manifesto, or socialist rhetoric, it’s the truth.  Title IX helps us see that truth.  I hope everyone can enjoy the break in the rain…take care of yourself and each other, remember, we’re all in this together.

 

Wm Reid

Best Home Care Services

325 N Eastern Ave

Connersville, IN 47331

765-827-9833

wmreid@bhcshealth.com 

Weather Events

Tornado Alley

 

“You drown not by falling in the river, but by staying submerged in it.”  ~Paulo Coelho

 

            If you live in the Midwest, you know that tornados are always a possibility and over the past several weeks we have once again seen the awesome power of nature as storms have ravaged across our region bringing torrents of rain, lightning, and several tornados.  The quote above has many different levels of meaning and for the purpose of this particular article, I want to once again discuss emergency preparedness.  Natural disaster events happen, there has yet been discovered a way to prevent it, so in order to help keep our heads above the water (so to speak), one must be prepared for the unthinkable to occur.

 

            I know that many of you (like myself) think that the likelihood of getting hit by a tornado is slim…but here are some numbers.  On average, the United States has just over 1,200 tornados per year (for data between 1991-2015) …let that sink in for a moment.  Indiana averages almost 25 per year during that same timeframe.  May and June are the two busiest months for strong storm systems for us here in the Midwest, but tornados can literally strike any time of the year.  The best defense against any natural disaster is to be prepared for it.  With tornados, there is often little or no warning when they fall from the sky, but that doesn’t mean that weather forecasters don’t have the tools to help forewarn you of incoming weather.  If you have any misunderstanding or confusion over an event watch vs an event warning, let me help you out.  A Watch is where weather conditions are favorable for an event occur but NOT imminent.  A Warning is when weather conditions are favorable for an event to happen and the ARE imminent.  A Watch in when weather could happen, and a Warning is when weather is happening. 

 

            Over the weekend, we had a tornado watch that turned into a warning as the conditions for such an event actually turned into an event.  Several tornados were reported in Wayne, Union, and Ripley counties in Indiana as well as Preble county in Ohio.  Our area has been subjected to strong storms the later half of the spring and it looks to continue as we edge closer to the Summer Solstice. Strong storms happen…as our climate continues to change, storms will continue to become stronger and more frequent…if you don’t believe me, check the average trend of tornadoes in the United States over the last 70 years.  The average numbers of tornados continue on an upward trend, and I see no reason for this trend to change.  It is more important than ever to be prepared.  I know over the past couple of years I have touched on this topic with frequency, but it doesn’t mean I’m an alarmist, I just believe in being prepared.

 

            How does one prepare for a tornado?  Having a supply of food, water, medication, and cash is a good start but it is not enough.  Besides having the basics for survival, the key ingredient in surviving a strong weather event is a plan of action followed up by putting the plan into action.  Having a safe room in the house, be it in the basement, or an interior part of your home along with your supplies and a weather radio will give you a better chance of surviving a tornado versus being completely unprepared for it.  One of my favorite quotes from Benjamin Franklin is that by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.  There are a multitude of websites that give more detailed information as to the needs of surviving an emergency such as a tornado.  The American Red Cross ( https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/tornado.html) or the FEMA website (https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2007/02/16/be-prepared-tornadoes) have good information that can help save your life. 

 

            As always, thanks for reading, keep safe and be aware of storm activity in and around your community.  Take care of yourself and others, remember, we’re all in this together.

 

Wm Reid

Best Home Care Services

325 N Eastern Ave

Connersville, IN 47331

765-827-9833

wmreid@bhcshealth.com 

Women's Health

Women’s World Cup 2019

 

            This week marks the opening of the 8th FIFA Women’s World Cup which is taking place in France.  For those of you who might not be familiar with the World Cup, it is the Olympics of the soccer world, and like the Olympics, it only comes around every four years.  National teams from all over the world have been playing in matches all over the globe in order to qualify for this prestigious tournament.  Why is this a big deal you might ask?  The U.S. Women’s National Team has won this tournament 3 out of 7 times and are a strong favorite to win it again.  Even if you are not a soccer fan and don’t know a touch from a save or a yellow card from a lineup card, one can’t help but feel the excitement as the women representing our country take to the field. 

 

            You might be asking yourself how this relates to healthcare here in Indiana?  There are many primary and secondary roads that connect the world cup and our health.  Beyond the obvious of getting outside and participating in an active sport where one runs (or walks) up and down the soccer field and the health benefits associated with exercise.  The Women’s World Cup is a focus upon women and their athletic prowess, their confidence, and the showcasing of their ability to perform at an incredibly high level.  There is an emotional health component to the benefits of watching these incredible athletes perform that can not be underestimated.  For a young girl or young woman to see others accomplish their goals and to see others live out their dreams can give a young person the boost of confidence that they might feel is lacking in their own life.  Not everyone can be a super model or a movie star, but we can all strap on our cleats and hit the playing field no matter what level player we are.  Athletics gives confidence and it helps to keep us healthy.

 

            Many people might remember the recent news of the U.S. Women’s National Team standing up for better pay.  The women’s team, which has had incredible success over the past 30 years continue to be paid significantly less than what members of the men’s national team are being paid.  The popularity of the women’s team from their success on the field has given them considerable power to negotiate for better pay not just for themselves but to raise the issue with all working women and the fact that there is still a pay gap between women and men for the same work.  Despite the new collective bargaining agreement in 2017, the USWNT (United Stated Women’s National Team) is still paid less than the men despite their long-term success and prestige.  The USWNT has become the face for all women in the struggle for equality and acceptance in all areas of life…when those women stride onto a field, they not only carry the weight of national pride on their back, but they also carry the cause for women everywhere.

 

            Imagine a world where women were truly equal to men in pay, in respect, and in acceptance.  Imagine a world where little girls could grow up in a safe place feeling full of confidence and secure in her own abilities.  Imagine a place where women are truly equal in every aspect of life…sounds like a pretty cool world to me.  If you’re a seasoned fan or are watching for the first time, the USWNT kicks off play today at 3:00 against Thailand.  Go U.S.A.!  thanks for reading and as I always prompt, take care of yourself and each other, remember, we’re all in this together.

 

Wm Reid

Best Home Care Services

325 N Eastern Ave

Connersville, IN 47331

765-827-9833

wmreid@bhcshealth.com 

Mental Health & Men

Mental Health & Men

 

The following article is by Sean Evans, Digital Director of Men’s Health Magazine.  He discusses the crisis of men shrugging off the importance of positive mental health for men (good mental health applies to everyone, this article was written for a men’s health magazine, so he is writing to his target audience, men).  I have in no way altered, changed, added or subtracted from his original work originally published May 2, 2019 at menshealth.com  I find his words of critical importance and thus worthy of sharing during this time of mental health awareness.  Please enjoy…

 

“Our mission at MensHealth.com has always been to help men build themselves into better men. Stronger men. Healthier men.

Rooted in science and expert opinion, our content translates dense topics into easily digestible, actionable health advice. Piecemeal, the concepts are sound and effective. But overall health must be viewed holistically.

 

One of the most integral components is your mind.

 

Your mental health is inseparable from your physical health. Not a revolutionary concept, but what is astounding is the stigmatization that still surrounds men who dare to talk about their mental struggles. As we move into Mental Health Awareness Month this May, we hope to change that.

Men who are vocal about any kind of mental issues can be dismissed as weak. As inferior. As flawed, broken guys who are more likely to be ostracized for their honesty, instead of rewarded for their bravery. Instead of affording a fellow man compassion, we mock, belittle, and turn a blind eye. We freely spit the phrase, “Man up,” as though your gender alone should suffice to guide you through your darkest times.

Or worse: we nonchalantly respond, “Well, that sucks,” then change the subject because talking about feelings is just too real.

What’s real is the fact that 9 percent of men experience depression on a daily basis. That’s more than 6 million men. Even if we understand what depression feels like, we rarely admit that’s the culprit. We lie and say we’re tired or just cranky. More than 3 million men struggle with anxiety daily. Of the 3.5 million people diagnosed as schizophrenic by the age of 30, more than 90 percent are men. An estimated 10 million men in the U.S. will suffer from an eating disorder in their lifetime. (Our own Style and Grooming Editor Louis Baragona eloquently and touchingly shared his battle with bulimia.) We retreat from friends and instead drown sorrows in numbing substances. One out of every five men will develop an alcohol dependency during his life.

Male suicide is rising at such an alarming rate that it’s been classified as a “silent epidemic.” It’s the seventh leading cause of death for males. That’s a staggering statistic. Drill down into the numbers and suicide is the second most common cause of death for every age group for men 10 through 39.

 

Our mental problems are literally killing us. And that has to stop.

 

This macho attitude of stuffing your feelings down, or ignoring them, is antiquated and downright dangerous.

It’s okay to not have your shit together. It’s okay to feel depressed. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be anxious. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to not have everything figured out, to feel a wave of uncertainty come crashing over you and not know which way is up, or when your next gulp of air will come. These are perfectly normal feelings that every man experiences. And it’s okay to talk about it.

What’s not okay is suffering in silence.

A few courageous men have led the charge, exposing their plights to the rest of us. Singer Zayn Malik openly discussed his struggle with anxiety and his battle with an eating disorder. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love penned an op-ed entitled “Everyone Is Going Through Something,” chronicling his panic attacks.

When Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson recently revealed his battle with depression after his mother attempted suicide when he was a teenager, his words struck a chord with us:

“[It] took me a long time to realize it but the key is to not be afraid to open up. Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it in. You’re not alone.”

You’re not. This month, we’ll be bringing you a number of fantastic pieces and features that help shine light on all the aspects of men’s mental health, curated by our incredible Deputy Editor E.J. Dickson.

We’ll cover depression and anxiety, how to recognize the symptoms of each and what to do next. We’ll dive into the world of postpartum mood disorders for men, an issue that is more common than you think, but that no one ever speaks about. We’ll explore bipolar disorder, through the lens of Andy Irons, a surfer who fought his illness by self-medicating so much that it led to his untimely passing.

We’ll examine the link between gut health and mental health. Are there foods you can eat that are genuinely good for your mental wellbeing? We’ll talk about body dysmorphia, a condition our former cover star Dan Stein faced, as well as how to deal with that one part of your body that you simply hate and wish you could change. (You’re not alone there, either. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he could look in the mirror and “wanted to throw up.”)

We’ll look at the horrible trend of our policing agencies punishing cops for asking for mental help, and how good officers have to surreptitiously seek counseling outside of their insurance, paying for therapy and medications out of pocket, lest their badge and gun be removed. And we’ll discuss the science of male anger; why and how physiological and environmental elements can contribute to making men so violent and destructive.

Together, our voices can fight the stigma that real men don’t talk about their troubles. In doing so, we can usher in a positive conversation to replace the longstanding, detrimental silence.

--- Sean Evans, Digital Director of Men’s Health

For general information on mental health and to locate treatment services in your area, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Treatment Referral Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).”

 

            It’s ok to recognize that something isn’t quite right, and things seem harder than they use to be…it’s ok to seek help.  The strength of a person isn’t stoically moving on in solitude, but moving on surrounded by the people who care for your wellbeing…both physically AND emotionally.  As we move forward towards the Memorial Day Holiday, take care of yourself, and each other…remember, we’re all in this together.

 

Wm Reid

Best Home Care Services

325 N Eastern Ave

Connersville, IN 47331

765-827-9833

wmreid@bhcshealth.com 

Happiness...

Happiness…

 

“The way to health, harmony, and happiness is primarily mental.”  ~ Grenville Kleiser

 

            Grenville Kleiser was a prolific writer and instructor at Yale’s Divinity School who focused on inspirational works as well as guides to public speaking.  Among his copious amounts of written material is another nugget of wisdom that fits well with the quote above, “Thoughts rule mankind”.  The mindset of a person is a powerful and mysterious thing.  A person may feel at peace and content in the world or tortured and paralyzed by the very same world.  May is Mental Health Month and whether you agree with Mr. Kleiser or not, mental health has an enormous impact in how we deal with daily challenges and our outlook on life.  Happiness, in essence, is derived from how healthy our mental health is.  Let that sink in for a moment.  Every person reading this has experienced extreme joys and sorrows in their life, we have all, every last one of us, experienced uncertainty in how we feel emotionally and how to deal with that uncertainty.  It is all normal.

 

            When people talk about mental health, there is a negative stigma that is associated with it.  Those who scoff at the field of mental health usually have visions of mad and wild-eyed killers shooting up yet another school in America.  Sadly, while this is true, people who have committed acts of atrocity usually have an abundance of mental health issues which contribute to their behavior, society as a whole wants to turn a blind eye to the root cause.  The health of a person’s mental wellbeing is a barometer to that person’s ability to function and thrive in our society.  We hear about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety in our society today more than we ever have before.  We think of military vets or first responders who suffer from long time exposure to high risk jobs…but it could also be about a little boy who has witnessed something traumatic such as his mother being abused by his father or vise versa.  Mental health issues can be born out of chemical imbalances in the body or from outside trauma and stressors that over time wear away our resilience and our ability to bounce back to a healthy, mental equilibrium. 

 

            We have all suffered at some point or another from mental anguish.  All of us have responded differently to those outside stimuli that has reshaped of feelings and how we react to those feelings.  There are those who feel that individuals who are in tune with their emotions are too weak to deal with the rigors and realities of real life.  They are wrong.  We all face the rigors of life differently and within the capacity we each have to can with that event.  Some people are more resilient than others just as some people can run faster than others or have higher neural flexibility than others.  Some individuals can hide their emotional pain better than others but it doesn’t mean that they still don’t feel that pain or that the emotional pain they are feeling isn’t real. 

 

Mental health issues are very real and very important.  We, as a society can no longer afford to ignore the need to discuss mental health wellbeing and how that correlates to a healthy and productive life.  If you have questions about your mental health, seek out a professional or start with your family physician to get going in the right direction.  Mental Health of America has a toolkit that can help you get going in the right direction… www.mentalhealthamerica.net

 

As we edge closer to the Memorial Day Holiday, keep in mind that mental health wellbeing is a key component of happiness…and as with anything worthwhile, wholeness and wellbeing of mental health takes honesty and hard work.  We spend so much time in making our world look nice on the outside, we also need to make the same effort to look and feel good on the inside too.  Please, take care of yourself, and each other…remember, we’re all in this together!

 

Wm Reid

Best Home Care Services

325 N Eastern Ave

Connersville, IN 47331

765-827-9833

wmreid@bhcshealth.com 

xY

First Footsteps at Jamestown

First Footsteps

 

            May 13, 1607, three English ships named the Susan Constant, Discovery, and the Godspeed landed 100 settlers along the banks of the James river in Virginia in order to establish the first permanent settlement in what would later become the United States.  That settlement was called Jamestown and the life of this tiny village on the banks of the James river was precarious at best.  This is the same settlement that produced the legendary explorer, Captain John Smith and the famed Algonquian native, Pocahontas.  It is from this fledgling village which struggled with starvation, disease, and a hostile indigenous people (the Algonquians), that America was born.  Yes, Jamestown wasn’t the first settlement to make a go of it in the new world and, they certainly were not the last but, they were the first English settlement to sustain a permanent population and ultimately survive. 

 

            The Virginian Company of London was a venture company incorporated in 1606 with the goal of exploiting the natural resources of the new world in North America.  On May 13th of 1607, the first elements landed in Virginia and created the settlement called Jamestown.  The settlers were beset by hostilities from the native peoples almost from the start and within that first year, Captain Smith was captured with two other members of the colony while foraging for food.  Smith’s two companions were killed but Captain Smith was spared at the request of Chief Powhatan’s daughter, Pocahontas.  Pocahontas became a friend of the settlement and later married a man named John Rolfe in 1614 that gave the settlement a brief period of rest from hostilities from the Algonquian people.  Starvation and illness still racked the settlement and it was almost abandoned in 1610 but a timely arrival of supplies and more settles saved the little outpost.  To give you an idea of the rate of death in the tiny colony, between 1607 and 1624…of the seventy-five hundred people who came to live in the colony, only twelve hundred still lived.  You had less than a one in six chance of survival yet settlers still came to the settlement for a chance at a new start.

 

            As more and more people learned how to live in this new wilderness, the local economy started to develop as crops like tobacco started to become an export back to England.  Other English settlements tried and failed before Jamestown made it.  The Roanoke Colony tried twice, first in 1586 and was abandoned, the second colony founded in 1587 just vanished and is called the Lost Colony of Roanoke.  Build upon on the outer banks, it is believed that the colonist moved from their settlement to integrate with the local native tribe and thus left nothing but a cryptic clue.  There are theories and ideas as to what happened with them but, nothing concrete has come forth in all the years that have followed.  There were several others over the years that tried and failed but in 1620, in what is now called Massachusetts, the Pilgrims landed near Plymouth Rock and established their settlement which became the second to make a permanent go of things.  In 1630, the English has 4,646 settlers in the new world and nearly half of that number lived in the Jamestown colony.   In ten years, the number of English settlers in the new world would be almost 27,000 people and by 1650, that number would nearly double again.  By the year 1700, there would be over a quarter of a million people in the English colonies spread out in cities and towns that dotted the 13 colonies. 

 

            May 13th doesn’t get a lot of fanfare from the people of this country, it typically goes unnoticed.  But it was a start of a wave of emigration to this continent from the old world to the new that literally has changed the landscape of history.  There are many complex social and economic ramifications associated with the arrival of permanent settlers from Europe to the new world…this can not be overlooked.  But the 100 brave and hardy souls who took it upon themselves to carve out a new life in an untamed wilderness, we celebrate your courage today!  Take it upon yourself to be courageous and get out of your comfort zone…take care of yourself, and each other…remember, we’re all in this together.

 

Wm Reid

Best Home Care Services

325 N Eastern Ave

Connersville, IN 47331

765-827-9833

wmreid@bhcshealth.com