It’s been a typical week in some ways and a very sad week in others.
The world was saddened by the suicide of Robin Williams. Many people are saying he could have gotten help and that his suicide could have been prevented. I’m not sure about that; depression really warps your mind.
I want you to do something. I want you to stop reading this and look at the people around you. I mean really look at them. See them; look at their faces and their actions. Can you tell by looking who is struggling with a mental illness? How many do you think are struggling with a mental illness of some degree or type? One in three.
Depression is an invisible disease and the battle against depression can be overwhelming. The people who suffer from it are ashamed of it, hide it, and cope with it on their own. Very few tell other people about it. Very few tell their doctor about it, they suffer silently, alone and afraid. The fear of the social stigma from admitting that they have a disease like depression stops them cold and that can make depression worse.
How can you help? Be kind. Do something nice for someone. If you do something nice for three people you will probably be doing something nice for someone struggling a little bit. Hold the door, say hello, smile, buy a coffee, complement them or whatever, just reach out and be kind somehow. You may boost their spirits. If it’s you that’s struggling do something nice for someone. They may be struggling as well and it may make you feel better. When I’m struggling I do something nice for someone and it always makes me feel better.
Have you noticed that as connected as we are we seem to be having one-sided conversations? On Facebook everybody is talking but who is listening? If we are listening are we listening to the person who is talking or are we planning what to say next? When we answer are we just speaking to say something or to acknowledge the other person? How many conversations can a person have at one time? When was the last time you called someone just to chat and see how they are doing? When was the last time you wrote someone a real letter or card instead of an email or e-card? When was the last time you went for a coffee with someone just to have a coffee with them and listen to them?
I’m not good at making phone calls or sending card or letters but I am getting better all the time. I like writing cards and letters. The hard part is how few addresses I have for the people I want to write to. Today I sent a card to the first person who hired me as a salesperson. I owe her many thanks. It made me feel good to do it even though we haven’t spoken in over 20 years.
I enjoy seeing the uplifting pictures and stories on Facebook. Thank you to all the people who post them. I also enjoy a newsletter I get from The GoodNewsNetwork. It’s an amazing newsletter filled with good news. You can get the newsletter for free or you can support the newsletter by “buying a subscription”. I’m a supporter. Follow this link to see the newsletter www.goodnewsnetwork.org
Did you see the supermoon on the 10th? Wow.
Speaking of sky gazing have you ever noticed how hard it is getting to see the stars? You can blame it on light pollution. Light pollution doesn’t just hide the stars it affects animals, plants and people. Light pollution is caused by all the lights left on overnight. Street lights, parking lot lights, floodlights, lights inside offices, lights on the sides of buildings and a real pet peeve of mine, signs. I understand the need for visibility and security but are we overdoing it? We could cut light pollution and reduce electrical use significantly by reducing the number of lights on and by reducing the amount of light produced. Some simple and effective things that could be done are;
Turn the lights off – why do you need so many lights on in your office or workplace after business hours? Even crazier, why do you need your signs on all night? Nobody is going to find your sign at night and wait outside until you open in the morning (except for businesses that have huge Boxing Day sales).
Put security lights on a motion detector. The lights will come on when there is an intruder.
Put automatic dimmer switches on parking lot lights and street lights. They don’t need to be on at full brightness when there is nobody around or traffic volume is low.
We could cut world heating, reduce energy use and reduce light pollution just by implementing a few of these things in our businesses and neighbourhoods.
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I hope you have a great weekend. I’m planning on gardening and golfing and being nice to people.
Comments, complaints, suggestions are all welcome.