We’ve spent the last few days talking about different angles of the boy crisis. Information in today’s podcast if from an opinion piece, I’ll link it in the shown notes.
Why is the suicide rate up 35% from 2000 to now? From 10.5 per 100,000 to 14. That may not seem like a lot, but heart disease kills 130 per 100,000 in a low state, and again- that’s every year – the Russian roulette revolver resets and strikes again, every year. So in a way, suicide is 10% as big a problem as heart disease. And heart disease is widely accepted as material.
The article poses the question, “what happens if we don’t make a culture that is accepting of failure?”
Well, Randy Essex, of the Detroit Free press gives a story of
Roy Holloway, chaplain of the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department, operates an emergency suicide hotline. He put it this way to National Geographic: “The (ski) season goes by and people think, ‘I didn’t meet the girl of my dreams. I got laid off. I don’t have any more money. I’m embarrassed, and I don’t want to tell my family that I didn’t succeed.’”
-So I live and broadcast from the American West. I live in a tourist town. And there are most definitely young men who follow this pattern of ski-slack-summer-slack-ski. You see, we have a name for that time after the skiing and before summer, when you get laid off because work is often seasonal around here. It’s a real thing, it’s 100% common. And it’s one way our community gets through the ups and downs. We bring it out into the open.
Back to the article:
In Aspen or Detroit or little red-state towns like the one in which I grew up, it’s about how we measure failure and what we decide to do about it.
And that takes me back to my indictment of the American dream.
The idea that this nation affords each of us the opportunity to be whatever we want comes true for many, but certainly not all. Unspoken is the converse implication — especially for white men, born with advantages conferred by race and gender: If you can’t make it, it’s your fault and you are a failure.
So as a parent, we are in charge of creating the culture of the future. Explain the realities of the situation to your children when you can’t fulfil their every desire. Saying, “we don’t have unlimited money” or “there’s not enough time to get all that done”. And find a story to tell them, about a co-worker, or family member, who has failed. And tell them that’s ok, and they are working on getting into a better situation, and they are still that funny uncle, or they are still your favorite neighbor. They still have value.
Don’t tell them that you’ll love them even if they fail. That should be implicit. You should be doing that on the daily and showing love, empathy should just be something that two people who love each other do.