There’s this great report put out by the Centers for Disease Control, it’s all about how many people die of things in the USA. It lists lots of reasons, and helps the government set policies to help its citizens live longer, happier, more productive lives.
Except it doesn’t always seem to be working. There’s been a drug crisis going on since the 1960s, and today it’s morphed into an even worse epidemic.
So, here’s another perspective on our problem.
Perhaps the list the CDC maintains is the wrong place to be looking. What we should consider are things having to do with behavior.
For instance, perhaps the suspects we should consider are these: Loneliness, Stress, and Boredom.
What can Stress do to you? We know it can accelerate heart attacks, stroke, and many other things related to aging.
What about Boredom? That gives us time to play with drugs, experiment with risky behaviors, and wonder why life is worth living when the going gets tough.
Finally, what about Loneliness? When we’re lonely, we tend to think about our pains, we magnify our problems and minimize our blessings. When we’re lonely, we can also be alone.
One of the biggest causes of loneliness is being alone. If we’re alone, we can make mistakes. Mistakes can be big ones, like leaving the stove cooking something when we go to sleep. Or sitting in a running car when the garage door is closed. Or taking the wrong medicine at the wrong time.
These three things can exist in any age group, any population, at any time. Addressing the causes that underlie the reasons we die may be far more effective than simply trying to attack the reason. It has to be better than what we’ve been doing, simply because what we’ve been doing hasn’t worked.
So the next time you see a horror film, go with someone. Talk about it. Make sure it’s a relaxing experience. My guess is you’ll live to see another day. And another.