Negative media

On one hand our media draw inspiration from heroes; on the other, they look for reasons to give up.  On talk shows and in advice columns, we are told:  a job transfer brings ‘pain’, and moving to another country means ‘cultural shock’.  Being ‘thrown’ out of work is ‘traumatic’, and standing in an unemployment line brings ‘the stigma of a rape victim’.
They tell us inflation is bad, then deflation is bad; the strong dollar is bad, then the weak dollar; higher oil prices are bad, then lower.  Unemployment and inflation make up a ‘misery index’.

Budget cuts are an ‘assault’ on blacks and the poor and cause malnutrition.  Canceling school breakfasts will ‘tear the fabric of family life’.  The poor can’t go a week without meat.  Living in a garage stigmatizes a child, causing his grades to drop.  Not having a phone is a tragedy.  There are ‘few incentives for the poor to give up drugs’.  (Throw in the towel.)
A raise in fees of $l00/yr at community colleges is a ‘threat to education’.  ‘Withdrawal’ from heavy TV watching is ‘painful’; moving to another house is ‘traumatic’; and cloudy days send people to their therap­ists.

Even good times are bad: yuppies have to ‘cope with the stress of success’ and lottery winners suffer from ‘post-jackpot depression syn­drome’.

Doomsayers run down our economic system (which pays their high salaries).  They run down the country (but are in no hurry to leave).  No mention of the immigrants who sacrifice to get here and take ‘menial’ work, no mention of those among the poor who are happy, no mention of the well-adjusted majority.

We only think we have it worse today.  Life is basically not more stressful or complex.  Discontent, despair, and failure at times are normal and healthy.  Being unhappy when the circumstances warrant it, is a mark of good mental health.  Most people emerge from difficulty stronger and wiser.