I attended church this morning, where the minister was saying that in the 1980’s there were 33,000 mental health counselors in the United States and that there are now 1.3 million. He blamed the Internet, which I supposed has become rather trendy since it is common to “friend” someone the requester does not know and perhaps never expects to actually met. Yet I remember a customer in a coffee shop that I worked in in the 1980’s saying with such sadness that everything was aimed at making a buck and that there was no sense of community so clearly the sense of social isolation is not new. I would love to know how many people agree with the minister that the Internet is the primary cause and how many would say that that customer so long before the Internet was in common use had the right idea.
I have been visiting with a neighbor who was severely disabled, and he used to beg me to come more often. I was with him Thursday night when his ability to breath went south, and I called an ambulance for him while he wanted to wait until the next day to go to the hospital on the bus. He said it was because he could sit up on the bus while the paramedics would make him lie down in the ambulance so that then he couldn’t breath. He left with the paramedics who were rushing while I was left there to look for the keys to lock up his home.
My neighbor has died according to the nurse in ICU. I never got to see him after he told me before I called the ambulance that he wanted for me to come visit him in the hospital because I was his best friend. I barely knew the man, but I could tell how lonely he was, and he admitted that there was no one else that he could depend on. I am sorry that he died among people who did not know him at all, but I am wondering whether death came as a friend to someone who was very sick, very lonely, and very isolated because he could not leave his home without the portable oxygen tanks that only last 20 minutes. He admitted that he went only to two stores across the street or up to the front of the building to pay his rent.
I have not heard from his daughter, whose number my neighbor gave me only about an hour before I called the ambulance; but she lives out-of-state. With her being his only family and then a neighbor he had known less than six months (that’s me) being the one he considered his best friend, I am wondering how he lived so long. Loneliness is more deadly than smoking or being overweight.
Life can be very cruel. Death can be very kind.
Sending this to make sure that I can find it again since I am rather clumsy on this site where I have been looking for interesting things to read.
I can sa on thing for sure on this subject. It is not for nothing that the first syllable in dietician is “die” because following those sadists advice will starve you to death.
Moderation, a diet consisting of eating whatever one wants but in reasonable portions, is considered stupid and BORING. It assumes that we would actually agree to eat a large piece of salmon and a small piece of chocolate, or a large portion of vegetables and only a bite or two of chili cheese nachos with guacamole and extra sour cream. The American public has not only soundly rejected this diet, but the governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, is now in favor of a bill to allow citizens to not only be allowed to carry their handguns in bars, but to use their weapons to soundly beat anyone seen eating a balanced diet in a South Carolina restaurant.
This leave us in a quandary, even greater than that posed by having to choose between pepperoni or Italian sausage on our deep dish pizzas. Namely, what kind diet do…
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