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Stressing out over minor things losing possessions and economic downfalls?

  1. Sep 11, 2009 #1
    why do people get stressed out over things like plunging financially down the debt hole or the unemployment rate rising ? Those things are bad, but I would not considered suicide or sink into deep depression if I lost my job or all of my possessions like many people do . Things like losing a job or losing all or most of your possessions are material things that most of the time , are replaceable , well except possessions that were past on from previous family generations. Things worth truly getting stressed out over are things like getting cancer or AIDS or being in a situation where your life is about to immediately end,such as when a maniac hijacks a plane and announces that he will ram it into a building and you are on it. Our society has created an environment where we should take these kinds of things seriously and be very upset over. I would find it interesting to see how people would react in a scenario where the government and economic institutions start to fall down like dominoes. I am not talking about a tragedy where a meteor/asteroid was heading towards the earth or a nuclear holocaust. I am talking about a scenario similar to the plot in Lord of the Flies where the boys had to actively be resourceful when stuck on an island if they wanted to survive. Do you think people be prepared if our government and economic institutions collapses; I don't think people would react very well and I think suicides would rise exponentially
     
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  3. Sep 11, 2009 #2

    Astronuc

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    How many people depend on you for the food and shelter?
     
  4. Sep 11, 2009 #3
    Well I depend on a lot of people for food and shelter , but the reason why I depend on people for food and shelter because I live in a society that puts an emphasis on reliance (not self-reliance) rather than resourcefulness. If people took the initiative to grow their own food and build their own houses, we would not have to rely on other people for those needs and wants.
     
  5. Sep 11, 2009 #4

    lisab

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    I think there can be many reasons people get very stressed about financial problems.

    If you have financial responsibility for your family, it would be extremely difficult to be seen as incapable of supporting them.

    Also, in my experience, any sort of stress seems to cause people to stop being creative and see new solutions to problems. Financial stress is overwhelmingly powerful, as anyone who has ever experienced it knows. So if the problem is "I suddenly have a lot less money," it may not be obvious that the solution is, "I need to be frugal now."
     
  6. Sep 11, 2009 #5

    Wax

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    Go for a year on unemployment benefits and come back to tell us if you feel the same way. I can tell you right now that your stress levels will be up to your eye balls trying to pay for your rent, car, health care, gas, and food. On top of that, you could have kids.

    How would you feel if you had to tell your kid that you couldn't afford to feed him 3 meals a day?
     
  7. Sep 11, 2009 #6
    What if the suicide rate would be higher among societies that put more emphasis on reliance?


    How was it before 1900s or so? There are many societies like that even now, I think you wouldn't want to live with them.


    Personally, I think getting AIDS/cancer <30 or >60 would be better than getting it between 30-60
     
  8. Sep 11, 2009 #7
    You are probably right. I get extremely upset when my laptop stops working or inconveniences me, but I shouldn't , we all shouldn't. But I have been conditioned to be upset over such things. Gas and cars , and even having jobs are not needs; they are wants. Things like food and water, and maintaining a healthy life are needs.Food is attainable. It is all around, not just at restaurants and grocery stores . You don't just buy food, we do come from a long line of ancestors who were hunters and gatherers. I don't prefer that way of living to our modern way of living.
     
  9. Sep 11, 2009 #8

    lisab

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    noblegas, I think you just hit on the Zeitgeist of our time: discerning a want from a need.
     
  10. Sep 11, 2009 #9

    russ_watters

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    Since you depend on others for food and shelter, losing a job isn't a big deal for you. If others depended on you for food and shleter and you lost your job, you could be left homeless and your family starving. That would be a really big deal.
    That's wildly naive. People don't have enough time to do such things for themselves, nor can people be experts at enough different skills to be able to do such things for themselves.

    Your way of thinking works reasonably well in an ancient hunter-gatherer society, but hasn't been the way things have worked for perhaps thousands of years.

    How old are you anyway? These sound like the musings of a discontented teenager who hasn't yet had to deal with the realities of living and thriving.
     
  11. Sep 11, 2009 #10

    russ_watters

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    Seriously - this is a mind-bogglingly naive line of thinking!

    There are a lot of different ways to look at this, but perhaps it is best seen as a testament to how advanced a society we are when people don't even consider the possibility of being homeless or starving when thinking about what unemployment could mean.
     
  12. Sep 11, 2009 #11
    "Stressing out" is when something is constantly on your mind bothering you.

    The reason we stress out is because we sense an impending catastrophe and devote more thought-time attempting to find a way to avoid the catastrophe.

    So, I think that stressing out is an extremely important behavioral mechanism.

    If the catastrophe has already happened, as in the case of having contracted AIDS (the example you cited as being a good time to stress out), then there is no rational benefit to continuing to stress out over it.
     
  13. Sep 11, 2009 #12
    Maybe they think living the simple life is not worth it. They dont foresee society advancing. They see that that future will be the same as now and if you have less money your condition wont improve.
     
  14. Sep 11, 2009 #13

    lisab

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    So you think that in an advanced society, people will think that buying houses on an interest-only loan is a good idea? That running up credit card after credit card to the limits because they feel safe doing so, because they think there's a safety net?

    Ah...oh no...I just described the last 10-or-so years...:redface:.

    It's not naive; it's what has been happening. But now people are pulling back, becoming much more reasonable.

    And I don't think an advanced society would encourage financial wrecklessness, btw. I don't think you do either, I think I may have not been clear in my post.
     
  15. Sep 11, 2009 #14
    This was my first thought as well. At some point, the fear of not being able to provide for and protect your family easily outweighs personal comfort and personal safety.
     
  16. Sep 11, 2009 #15
    I wouldn't be left homeless if I knew howto hunt for my own food and new how to grow food. When the united states was formed, most people hunted for their food and built their own houses. If people lost their jobs and homes now, people would not have a back up plan to deal with such misfortunes and would be as helpless as a newborn infant without its mother .


    We have plenty of time. The only time that is finite is the time the moment we are born until the time that we die. There are people who live on communes and people who don't live on communes who grow their own food in their own back yard. We should have a back up plan in case society collaspes upon itself . It is naive to think that our comfortable lifestyle will not be interrupted by internal or external factors that may disrupt it and not have a backplan on how to prepare for this kind of emergency..
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2009
  17. Sep 12, 2009 #16

    Wax

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    Not everybody has a backyard or the means to grow their own foods to be self sufficient from society. Do you think the people who live in NYC have a backyard or the money to go country side to buy a ranch to hunt animals? You can't just go into someone's milk pasture and kill his cow just because you're hungry. You know animals just don't grow on trees right? They have to be farmed, nurtured, and space to live. Who do you think pays for the ranch? Nobody's going to give every single person in the country a backyard to grow their own food.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2009
  18. Sep 12, 2009 #17
    The vast majority of people do not live in an area that is suitable for this lifestyle. If you still have enough saved up for a ticket to Alaska, congratulations....but you have to give up on all bets of maintaining a normal life in society...
     
  19. Sep 12, 2009 #18
    No. Astronuc asked you, "How many people depend upon you for food and shelter?" not who you depend upon.

    Edit: Sorry noblebas. A lot of people are giving you the what-fors, but you might consider the constraints people place themselves under-as well as the latititudes they take, to provide for the well-being of those they cherish.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  20. Sep 12, 2009 #19

    russ_watters

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    Not sure if I was unclear, but in responding to you I was reiterating that noblegas's position is naive - I wasn't calling your position naive.

    Regardless, I don't see what your post has to do with the topic being discussed. Whether someone is financially reckless or not, long-term unemployment has the same effect if no one is around to pick them up: homlessness and starvation. The recklessness of the past 10 years just means people live closer to the edge - it doesn't mean the edge isn't there if people live more responsibly.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  21. Sep 12, 2009 #20

    russ_watters

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    Do you own enough land to grow your own food? If not, where would you do that? Can you live inside food? (how does growing food provide you shelter?)
    Have you ever tried it? What makes you so sure you could do it? When America was first settled, a lot of people died because of how difficult it is to live that lifestyle.

    Again, this line of thinking you are on is extrordinarily naive. You're not thinking it through.
    True. Nothing I have seen from you, though, suggests you have a back up plan. You have a vague, romantic notion of how great it would be to live in a simpler time, but that's just a fantasy, not a plan.
    If society collapsed completely, most of the world's population would die. The world quite simply can't support 6 billion people living an ancient lifestyle. Feeding the world requires modern farming. Providing sanitation requires modern plumbing and water services.
     
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