There are a few things I never intended this blog to be. Politics, pop culture events and hard selling of my books are the main points I wanted to avoid. But it’s hard not to post something this morning about people going nuts. It seems like people are losing more than their jobs, homes, cars and dignity. They are losing their minds. Yes, some of these are drug related but a few cannot be explained so easily. And in the after math of the mass shooting in not so far away from me Seattle the other day, I just can’t help but wonder why. It could be sun disease, I guess. Flares, radiation and geomagnetic storms can cause our brains to short circuit, some researchers say. Others, (and I lean on this theory heavily) say that we are simply suffering from information overload. Like trying to download five things at the same time on an old computer. It slows way down, and then freezes up or shorts out. Combine that with the overwhelming daily stress of survival and it’s a recipe for disaster. It would appear that once you fall through the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy pyramid, one reverts back to an animal like state in order to obtain those things on the first, most basic level. It rarely works out well. I know that I am very sensitive to information overload and get very anxious when I try to input (or output) too much at one time. These days, I am only able to write about 3500 words a day. Not a fantastic number by any means. Not the way I want to produce. But after that, my mind tends to wander and I get that “I’m done” feeling. I simply can’t write anymore. I get irritated if I try. I have a few close friends who report the same problem.
Back in the Depression, mental illness was an overwhelming problem. Insane asylums were packed to the gills. Crime was rampant. Alcoholism and domestic abuse skyrocketed. Most people lived on the bottom floor of Maslow’s pyramid, and the concerns of the day were survival. It is no coincidence that in the Theory of Human Motivation, morality, lack of problem solving and prejudice is at the top, while food, water and safety are at the bottom. One can see why someone who had never stolen before, and even loathes thieves, would steal or attempt to steal to feed himself or his family. I’ll state the obvious that when a society is consumed with their next meal, their home foreclosing, losing their job, or even the threat of these things happening, it will change that person’s moral compass and self preservation reigns, to hell with laws. The last bit of history seems to be repeating itself–on steroids–and humanity seems to be losing its shite.
It’s not much, but this month I have committed to donate a bag of groceries to the local food bank every time I go to the store for my own family. Summer is hard for families with children home for meals they ussually recieved at school. Food banks are running out of supplies all over the country. If we all find someway to give, in what little way we can and keep humanity and compassion alive, we might can ease each other through this second Great Depression. And trust me, the party has only just begun.