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Is Quality of Life Decreasing in America?

December 4, 2013

On the Facebook page of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers I recently shared something recently read.

I see so often that farmers shouldn’t push for maximum production, even though that’s what has been demanded for decades. Perhaps some food for thought, I read yesterday from the book Bullets and Bread. “My Royal British Legion Branch produced a small book last year in aid of our Poppy Appeal. It’s called Ration Book Recipes with a collection derived from the memories of our WW2 Veterans and their wives. It reminded me that in 1941 the One Week Ration per person was; 4 ounces Bacon or Ham, 8 ounces sugar, 2 ounces butter, 10 cents worth of fresh meat, 2 ounces tea, 1 ounce cheese, 2 ounces jam (jello?), and the equivalent of 1 small tin of Spam (or similar tinned item, as available). – Submitted by a British D-day Veteran and dedicated to his Royal Air Force comrades who died on Omaha Beach – Dr. Leslie G Dobinson.” Perhaps we want to return to a day with hard physical labor and having four ounces of bacon or ham per WEEK, or one ounce of cheese. Dehydrated rations that were complete nutritionally, if tasteless. The beginning of a processed food wave, also decried. Perhaps we should consider changes in agriculture were made to fill that need so people didn’t have to do without. They could be choosy to not eat rabbit, mutton and other things so many turn their nose up now including horse. They could have the choice to expand the population and the move to cities to work for money rather than survival. Farms and ranches need survival too. We didn’t get where we’re at overnight. It was filling incremental demands.

 

The Victory Gardens were not just part of the war effort – it was survival. I followed that read with an outstanding story of an Australian race horse. Completely unrelated except that Shannon was a young horse at the time of those rations. It spoke of the rationing of tires and food, of not being able to get the horses to the turnout farms because fuel and resources were used for the war effort.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wonder how those sacrifices would be points of outrage now.

It brought up the question about the quality of life now, as compared to the 1940s. I wasn’t around then, but from family that was, having little to eat was not something that was comfortable. Not knowing where the meals would come from and a host of other issues is stressful.

But in many ways, from a quality of life standpoint, wasn’t it slightly better? Looking at today, how much do we really want to give up of current day comforts? I could do without cell phones, but many wouldn’t know how to survive without checking for texts on a regular basis. It’s become part of our life.

Over the last 40-50 years there’s been dozens of time saving devices introduced, from microwaves to dishwashers. We even have floor cleaners that work on their own. And yet with all that free time we have kids without proper supervision and teaching. There’s more anxiety and an increase in medicating emotional problems.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow many of those could be lessened with some time cleaning a barn, or taking a ride on a horse or spending some time in the garden? Why do we look to OTHERS to provide our food choices, as if we can’t do it ourselves?

Some points to consider, and some points we’re doing something about with planning clinics, classes, retreats and more. If our health – including mental health – isn’t important then why blame companies, food and a host of other people rather than the decision to remain in a stressful situation.

Some folks are addicted to drama. They swear they want out of it, but remain in it, foster it, feed it and cut out those that threaten to interrupt or smother their drama teddy bears. They ride the satisfaction of being right, the depression of battling and being misrepresented but continue right on doing the same thing and feeding the same energy. This isn’t one or two people folks – it’s millions of them. It creates chaos where it really doesn’t need to be.

Quality of life means a lot. I think of toddlers who don’t want to let go of their blanket even to be washed, as if it will disappear. Life isn’t about giving up things, it’s about starting over and making a life. Not making a survival. Isn’t that what quality of life should be?

We have so much surrounding us our grandparents could not have imagined! Let’s use it to make things better – not as a crutch to avoid washing the blanket.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 5, 2013 11:14 AM

    Interesting thoughts. I think there is a clear distinction between quality of life and standard of living. Our standards of living have most certainly risen, but our quality of life might actually be on the decline. However, that doesn’t mean that rising standards of living are directly responsible for declining quality of life. Cell phones, Wifi, computers, automation…these things are very useful, but like any innovation, things can be misused or abused. I think our culture is what causes the decline in quality of life. We are consumer and demand based and have gotten to a point where too many people can’t fill the void for more, be that consumption most any kind of consumption.

    • December 5, 2013 11:54 AM

      I agree! It’s easy to look at one or two statistics and think it holds all the answers, when the truth is more complex. I don’t think the answer is getting rid of technology, but in reconnecting with life. I’m reading Anxious Kids Anxious Parents now – and it brings in so many other aspects. Parents are stressed and fearful and teach (because they model it) kids to be stressed and fearful. Even pets are picking up on it, rather than training/teaching just throw some medication at it. Maybe cleaning some pens or grooming a long haired animal or something would be more beneficial. Thanks for stopping by! And I think in many ways we need to find that ourselves.

      • December 5, 2013 11:58 AM

        So true on parents passing it on to their kids! Way, way, way too medicated in this country.

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