The NYTimes ran another interesting story and an interactive feature about the recession and how the stress is “seeping into everyday lives.” The article is mostly based on anecdotal evidence, with a few statistic thrown in, but it seems true. Economic hardships, or more acutely, the fear of them, is really stressing people out. One woman, Anne Hubbard, reported losing 12 pounds just from reading economic reports and getting sick to her stomach about things.
Calm down people.
FDR really understood the American psyche when he said in his first inaugural address, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Americans are made neurotic so easily. What happened to being a country of entrepreneurs and industrious go-getters ready to take on a challenge? I can remember a time when people like Ms. Hubbard would be marketing a new diet fad and capitalizing on her success at losing weight.
It also strikes me as important to look at things relatively. We’re rich! Sure, we’re rich as individuals, because we have friends and families, but as a country we’re also just really wealthy compared with much of the world. I’ve seen poverty in really poor countries and it looks a lot worse than most of the scenes here. It’s certainly worse than the hardships people like Ms. Hubbard might endure.
What’s the point of having nice things, fancy cars, big houses, nice clothes, if all it breeds is fear of losing it anyway?