Paul J. Mills, Tiffany Barsotti, Meredith A. Pung, Kathleen L. Wilson, Laura Redwine, and Deepak Chopra Gratitude, along with love, compassion, empathy, joy, forgiveness, and self-knowledge, is a vital attribute of our wellbeing. While there are many definitions of gratitude, at its foundation, gratitude is a healing, life-affirming, and uplifting human experience that shifts us […]
A new poll has brought some welcome news. When asked, “Do you think the country is headed in the right direction?” more responders say yes than no. This is in stark contrast to the latter stages of the Bush administration, when the no’s were mounting to unheard-of levels, past 80%. The headline says that President Obama’s honeymoon isn’t over, but this poll means something more.
It’s about the melodrama of meltdown.
Mass media thrives on melodrama, and so does modern politics. We became addicted to the scary side of the economic meltdown — the term itself is a piece of verbal melodrama. We were “going over the cliff,” “crashing,” “ending the American dream,” and on and on. In the political arena, the right wing issued dire warnings about holding the next three generations hostage with crippling deficits.
If you stand back and take a breath, the realities are difficult but not panic-inducing. White collar unemployment among the college educated stands around 4.5%, which is low. The hardest hit are blue collar workers. They have been at a disadvantage for years as the American economy has shifted. Today you have to have computer skills to survive; working on an assembly line is becoming obsolete. What’s to be done? Exactly what the administration wants to do: educate the young and provide help for those who can’t change or who are caught in the current squeeze.
The same holds for health care. Health care is bankrupting the country and making American products non-competitive in the world. To cure those ills, the government has to reform the entire system, and that in turn will lead to higher taxes. No one is thrilled with this news, but it’s not a cause for melodrama. In an aging society, rising health needs exist, no ifs, ands, or buts. The issue has been pushed aside for eight years; now it must be faced.
Published in the San Francisco Chronicle