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Hang on and make the best of it

I have noticed that people’s behavior is changing. Some are becoming more aggressive, easily agitated, and just plain nasty.

I’ve mentioned this to other people, primarily in passing, and was surprised with some responses.

Some believe it is a sign of stress. We, Americans, are supposed to take it on the chin and keep on going. Maybe we’re getting tired of taking it.

Others believe our fast-paced lifestyles are catching up with us. I certainly can believe that. Look at how most of our days are spent. We have more day than time, finding it more difficult to complete all the tasks put before us.

And there is no end in sight, adding more stress.

I am particularly concerned about our children. If we adults think time goes too quickly and we can’t get everything done, what do you think it’s like for the children who have no or little control over their time?

We adults are partly to blame. We’re the ones who think children should be busy so they don’t get into trouble. The average teen has a part-time job, is involved in at least one sport and one large school production or project, and still has to finish homework, chores at home, and have fun.

I’ve noticed that people are not as congenial or as friendly as they used to be. Is it because they’re too busy or is it because they don’t want to be?

Our smaller cities in Marion County used to be somewhat immune to “city ways” such as honking horns when someone takes too long to turn or butting in front of somebody in line at the grocery store because we’re in a bigger hurry than anyone else. But I’ve observed this happening in our small towns.

What’s going on, folks? Are we so wrapped up in the chaos of the world around us that we have forgotten how to be caring human beings? I certainly hope not.

Times are stressful right now. People are being laid off from their jobs and having a difficult time paying their bills. Prices keep going up but wages don’t. Money issues seem to occupy all of our lives. Will the economy shift? When will things get better? How will we pay our bills if we lose our jobs?

It’s not exactly the best of times, but we will get through this.

Being kind to one another is one of the basic acts of humanity. Regardless of the economy, we should be able show some compassion and empathy.

So, buck up, people. The ride isn’t over yet, but it could be a lot more pleasant if we make the best of it.

— susan berg

Last modified Nov. 10, 2009

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