“You should do it because you want to do it for yourself,” or “Do what makes you happy.” Here are two of the biggest lies our world teaches right now, and it’s adding to the growing depression rates in our culture. From my experience, a lot of women will tell their husbands the former, but that’s not how guys work. We’re fine not doing anything. Do it for myself? No thank you. We need a better reason. Do it to get a girlfriend? That’s good. Work hard to beat the competition? That’s often a good one. Eat healthier and stop drinking, so you can live longer for your family? Ummmmmm…. depends on the day.
These two lies have infected our world and using my simple solution can fix our nation’s increasing mental health problems and revolutionize our current world – it’s so simple! For just four installments of $99.99… sorry, I felt like I was in an infomercial for a moment there.
We are on a bad path. We are a path of selfishness and laziness. Considering every store manager I’ve talked to over the last five years says that hiring young people is a waste of time, we need to do something. I was recently talking to a friend who is a store manager and she told me that teenagers are quick to call in sick, especially if there’s a party they’d rather go to, and/or they’ll come to work with hangovers. That’s quality. What happened to the days people bragged about never calling in sick like it was a badge of honor? She also struggles with getting the teenagers to do any work when they’re there. What kind of terrible things does she ask her workers to do? Dust – the easiest of all chores. The biggest negative response she gets is when she asks the teenagers to welcome people to the store. They use excuses like they’re shy or “I don’t want to,” which I didn’t know was an excuse. Saying, “I don’t want to,” was the first step to getting whacked when I was a kid. And what terrible, awful store does this manager work at that makes life so difficult for these teenagers? The Christmas Store. Arguably the store that should be the friendliest store in the mall because it should be full of Christmas cheer. Perhaps you’re thinking that’s just the result of listening to Christmas music in the summer. Nope. My other friend who has been the manager at the Disney Store for over twenty-five years has found the same thing. The quality of young people and workers, in general, has significantly dropped. This does not make our future look very promising. Our work ethic as a culture is dying and along with it our mental health and it’s a largely because we promote, “Do what makes you happy.”
As a therapist, I’ve seen cases where young people make incredibly unhealthy choices. I won’t say what those are because I know that’ll make some politically correct people very angry at me and cause them to miss the point I’m trying to make. These teenagers making these stupid choices (because they are stupid choices) demand that everyone accepts them, and their friends and damaging therapists say they have a right to demand their parents “support” them. Even if the parents disagree with it, they are expected to change their beliefs and boundaries for their children. It’s like parents have to bow down to their children’s demands. What happened to the fifth command in the Ten Commandments: Respect your parents for it will go well with you? What happened to the Jewish rule that parents are to stone children who are very disrespectful? I’m not advocating the death penalty for bad children (I’m not that crazy), but we’ve swung hard to the other extreme where parents are the target of vicious attacks because they have a differing opinion.
On the plus side, my therapy business is going to explode as these super selfish and entitled young people get married and realize there are two spoiled people who hate working in their marriage. But as a culture, we’re in serious trouble if we don’t start to do something different and the answer isn’t very difficult.
I have two simple statements that can revolutionize our nation.
- It’s not about you. That’s it. We’ve made our culture all about us. What will make me happy? What do I want to do? Why should I do it if I don’t want to do it? Why should I do anything unless I feel like it? Here are important reasons our culture forgets:
- It’ll make my parents proud
- My teachers/boss will be happy
- It’ll make life better for others
- I’ll be able to provide a better future for my family
- I’ll earn a promotion and/or develop my work ethic and skill set
- That’s what God wants me to do
Or here’s a crazy idea: Because it’s the right thing to do. That’s the craziest of them all.
- You are not your own. This is a Christian teaching, but it has universal merit because we need to realize that we are connected to those around us. I have a responsibility to my family. I have a responsibility to my work. I have a responsibility to my town and country. I’m not my own, and my choices affect everyone around me. I need to be careful how I act because otherwise I’m a selfish turd. Why should I be quiet in the movie? Because it’s rude and disruptive to others. Why should a woman cover up when she nurses a baby in public? Because it makes other people feel awkward and she should be considerate. Why shouldn’t I illegally download for free? Because it’s stealing and hurts people. Why shouldn’t I litter? Because people who litter are the worst! Why shouldn’t I expect special treatment when I have something different about me like how I’m a picky eater? Because it’s my problem and I don’t want to be a burden on others. If I don’t care that I’m a burden, I’m a selfish turd. It’s not complicated. I need to live life like it’s not about me because it’s not… or I become be a selfish turd and add to the increasing mental health problems in the world.
It’s amazing how much mental health could be improved if people did their jobs and were friendly to those around them. Half the people I see wouldn’t need therapy because they wouldn’t be getting burned out trying to compensate for lazy people or being brought down by the negativity around them. If we want to help mental health, we need to start living life for the benefit of others and not just ourselves.
This week may you consider what this means for yourself.
Rev. Chad David, ChadDavid.ca, learning to love dumb people (like me)