We worry about heart attacks, strokes, cancer and a myriad of other regular diseases that lead to early incapacity and death and most of us take active and expensive steps to hope, help, delay and deal with such problems.
Still one of the things that creeps into very many lives is simple stress, which in most cases, is accepted as a given in a fast paced modern life that must simply be tolerated and dealt with as best as possible.
What are the main issues that give rise to serious stress in 10's of millions of lives in America today:
Transportation--trains, buses, cars, airplanes, subways--we are all moving all the time- breakdowns, delays, overcrowding, safety, dirty, unhealthy.
Housing---costs, insurance, repairs, tough landlords, commutes, etc.
Education--we want the best we can afford and reach for our children and grandchildren--it is very competitive, expensive including babysitting and day care.
Jobs--if one has one, is it secure and for how long; if not, how long does one have to wait to find a new one.
Health--keeping healthy, avoiding accidents, paying for medicines even on Medicare, lack of coverage from employer provided insurance; risks of bankruptcy, etc.
Retirement--will it be too early, too late, cost, lack of confidence in one's own mortality and future desire to remain comfortable in the golden years.
There are a few more but this list surely covers more than enough to keep millions of people stressed for a lot of their lives, without adding the natural stress to comes with whatever their jobs/career add to their daily lives.
What is common to all those stressors and what possibly could people do to get ahold of those sources and at least somewhat reduce stress levels in general.
The key element in each of the above categories is that every individual worries about lack of control he/she have over the impact on their lives.
Without going item by item through each category lets settle at the moment with these observations.
--Virtually all categories involve all three sectors that comprise modern society--government, business and nonprofit. The problem with that, from an individual point of view, is that is hard enough to navigate through life on your own but if you have to add to that the need to navigate through THREE different sectors that have a different piece of the category you may be struggling with, you are facing a completely daunting challenge, which forces you to either calmly accept the status quo you have been handed or simply stress uselessly about it. If you are very lucky, you are one of those folks who float along with few cares. Sadly there are too few like that today.
--In some families there is a split of responsibilities; the wife worries about the list above, but she leaves the big important issues to her husband such as whether we should go to war, what the tax system should look like, etc.
--The result in most cases for men and women is that they carry stress with them most of the time. Doctors have known for a long time that continued stress levels at elevated levels often produces early onset of many medical issues particularly those involving the nervous system.
OK--so what conceivably might be done to address this not such obvious issue?
IF, if the three basic sectors could ever find a way of working better together, that could be a good start at reducing the friction points between those sectors which lead to the conditions which grind on citizen involvement.
Have a peek at www.intersector.com and hopefully you will get some new additional insights into the question raised in this piece.