It was interesting to talk to many residents lately. The discussions were about the obvious: lack of available jobs, more layoffs, reduction in pay and hours of employment, fear of further economic decline, and what to do about increasing taxes and decreasing property values. Lack of health care benefits distressed many families because health care benefits terminated with employment loss. Family budgets too are extremely tight for everyone! Families and our youth are facing economic and social challenges that have never been as serious as they are now. Many families are a short step away from economic disaster!
If these issues were not enough of a problem, some of the residents stated that the dropout rate of our high school students might increase, because of higher graduation standards for Math, Science and English subjects. Present subject scores released for school districts show a mixed bag of successes and failures in most schools. Parents are concerned that additional stress is going to affect their children because of these requirements.
It is easily seen why stress is building in many families’ daily lives. There are no easy answers for all these critical situations and economic relief may not be just around the corner.
What to do? Good question, but no easy answers!
Not being a therapist or having a magic wand or crystal ball is part of my problem. There are no simple solutions to complex problems. Nevertheless, we can all do something to reduce the stress. Be realistic about expectations and do not over-react to any particular problem or issue. Take a deep breath, talk with a friend, see a councilor, or just give yourself a break by taking a well-deserved time-out!
We are often too hard on ourselves and ask too much of ourselves in too short of a time frame. Don‘t be pulled in too many directions and don‘t be distracted from accomplishing your own goals and objectives.
Economic recover will be a while in coming. “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are,” said Mr. Roosevelt. These are words worth remembering. We are here in this community, and we have available recourses that can be used for the betterment of the residents and the community in general.
We too are a community with Character! We can assist ourselves by facing the challenges as they become apparent. We have to be as tough as the problem confronting us, or we automatically loose! We can all benefit by insisting on good schools, good teachers, being responsible parents, and asking for help when we need it.
I have tremendous faith in our residents and their ability to sustain themselves with help in these troubling times.
Those unemployed must continue to pursue employment opportunities and continue with educational objectives. Parents must insist that our children receive the help they need in meeting academic standards in our schools.
Teachers must be competent in teaching Math, Science and English.
After all, we are primarily a community that thinks about the future. And as John Galsworthy said, “If you don’t think about the future, you cannot have one!”