Americans have ‘grim and bear it’ mentality


I recently read an article that said a great majority of Americans do not feel supported or nurtured. This has been an issue for years. It is being recognized now just because more and more individuals are suffering mental and physical problems as a result.

All one has to do is sit in a public place and watch the faces of passers-by. It is rare to see people smiling or sharing laughter unless they are children or young teens. Instead of having the “grin and bear it” mentality, most people seem to be models for “grim and bear it.”

Why are so many of us feeling as if we are going about our day as if no one cares? Sure, there are random texts, and cellphones chirp or sing some cheery song to alert us that someone is trying to connect.

Perhaps it’s my age, but nothing feels the same as sitting across from someone and having a conversation. Nothing takes the place of someone greeting you at the door when you come home and asking how your day went. And nothing takes the place of being able to relax without the cacophony of today’s technology assaulting you constantly.

The naysayers to all of the above will counter with: “You just don’t get it. This is called progress.” Well, progress might just be creating regression. I embrace technology, but I do not wish to treat it as a god-like figure that must be venerated daily.

I have watched individuals have fits trying to find their ringing cellphones. If they miss the call, they frantically try to reach the caller. You’d think they’d been called to perform major surgery on a trauma patient.

Texting is akin to an addiction for some people. They hold their phones throughout the day, as though the phones were keeping their hearts pumping.

The newest advance is going to be the ability to wear your technology, i.e. Google glasses and smart watches. Imagine the kick you’ll get as the sounds cascade through your body with each ping. No more looking for a lost phone, since “Tag, you’re it!” My fear is that we will slowly descend into an increasingly robotic state. Will we forget how to have deep conversations and lose the ability to listen without the distractions that are becoming so pervasive? Will we forget how to embrace silence or be with a friend or loved one without having to look down at our phones to see who else might be interested in us? I we do, the only support we might get is “tech support.”

About lorettalaroche

An international stress management and humor consultant whose wit, and irreverent humor, has, for over 30 years raised the humor potential in all of us. She is on the Mass General advisory council for anxiety and depression and was recently awarded the National Humor Treasure Award. Loretta writes a weekly newspaper column called, 'Get a Life'.
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3 Responses to Americans have ‘grim and bear it’ mentality

  1. Gail says:

    thank you

  2. Anne says:

    is it just my perception or are we told [by tv] to be afraid of one another?
    horrible stuff happens and we are warned to be wary but does it help?
    Halloween is right around the corner 😀 Trick or Treat! That was the night I got to go see who lived in each house 🙂 Nothing you can get from a video screen is like actually dressing up and going out into the night with a group of friends and having the adventure be real. or is that too scary? would some rather hide behind their keyboard ?

  3. Ted Casher says:

    And that is why I will always wear a quartz analog watch. Gotta have some time without instant communication!

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