BITN: Americans Stressed; Kids Over-Screened; Senior Workers Rock

Posted on: Saturday, May 4th, 2019
Posted in: BITN | Leave a comment

Kirk Horsted, Copenhagen
Kirk Horsted, Copenhagen

BreakAways in the News remains a full-time job for several part-time interns. And we are pleased with the latest highlights—all of which confirm that those of us preaching the gospel of balance may be crazy, but we are right. And smart!

  • Land of the tense, home of the crazed

NYT and a gazillion other media outlets reported the not-fake news that Americans are whack (do people still say that?). Yep. Not only are we Great Again, but we are also at the top of the heap of categories like: the most stressed; the most worried; the most angry. These findings come courtesy of Gallup’s annual poll of 150,000 people worldwide.

Lest we cry alone in our celebration beer, other nations’ peoples are also having some bad days. Anger, sadness, and worry reached all-time worldwide highs, making 2018 the darkest year for humanoids in a decade. There are bright spots, though, like Latin America. They bask in not only sunshine, but also some of the highest numbers for positive experiences and other metrics—despite problems like murder, poverty, and corruption.

Career break in Ecuador, anyone?

  • WHO screams, “Put that device down, kids!!!”

Parents, take note. The World Health Organization recently joined a long list of smart institutions stating that children have got to stop playing with their digitalia. Specifically, kids under 1 should NEVER do videos, games, and online stuff. And children 2-4 best do no more than an hour a day. WashPost and pretty much all surviving, credible media took note.

Experts cite some serious risks: Kids may impair development of interaction and social (not to be confused with social media) skills; brain development may blortz; and creativity (and learning) may feel like an outsource-able, rather than personal, pursuit.

Though many of us barely remember life before device devotion, these phenomena are new enough that research is still, uh, young. That said, the findings clearly conclude that development, exercise, sleep, and much more are at risk for families everywhere. So stop reading this story and go play in your sandbox!

  • Hey, Geezers: We need you!

First of all, we’ve got to stop using lingo like geezer, fogey, and old farts. Why? Because we need those folks to work, not nap, what with unemployment hitting a 50-year low of 3.6% yesterday. And we are also in (what BreakAway believes) is a reboot boom of Baby Boomers (and beyond) rising new levels of accomplishment, innovation, and creativity.

Today’s WSJ features an essay by Rich Karlgaard, author of the recent Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed by Early Achievement.” Mr. Karlgaard explains that brains and skills develop throughout a lifetime—and that many people peak in potential and output in later life, not just in the roaring 20s. “Precocious achievement is the exception, not the norm,” he writes, “The fact is, we mature and develop at different rates.”

Mr. Karlgaard uses neurology and numbers to make his case, and asserts that creativity (among other talents) actually increase with age. And that idea that young people can perform most tasks and challenges better than folks with more maturity? Balderdash! So Gatsby was wrong, not Great, when he stated, “There are no second acts in American lives.”

Economist, author, and radio star Chris Farrell has been also touting these ideas. Stay tuned to BreakAway for a look at his uplifting POV and his breakthrough book, Purpose and a Paycheck: Finding Meaning, Money, and Happiness in the Second Half of Life.

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