Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Being Unhappy in a Happy Place

I first recall when someone I knew expressed feelings of Depression connected to Springtime and sunny days.  She explained to me that when Spring arrived and everyone around her got excited about the sunshine and the warmth, she felt worse.  She got really despondent because she wasn't able to enjoy what others were raving about.  And that fact made her feel worse in Spring and Summer.

Now the Fed has found something similar.  First, they've noticed that in societies where income is going up, people are happier.  No surprise there.  But they've also found that suicides go up in happier societies!  And they've concluded that those who are unable to share the happiness/well-being that others experience, with rising prosperity, get depressed and may end their lives - as all around them eat, drink, and are merry.  Except for them.

If only this "depression effect" - now recognized by the Fed would convince legislators and Tea Partiers that Health Care is vitally important, that some people simply can't pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, not if they're depressed.  And that a wealthy society (ours) owes them some assistance, so they can get a "leg up".  Or do they view the suicides as not really the human wastage one professor of mine would have called it?  Are they, sadly, happy if these others - unproductive citizens (as they might view them) - simply remove themselves from the face of the earth?

Gosh, this makes me sad....


But now for an uplifting experience.... and if this makes you sad, well... oh, dear... more unfortunate proof for the principle described above!  More need for Alan's ideas below.