EDITORIAL FRIDAY 24.07.09.
Today is Lifeline’s National Stressdown Day, and so I am writing this from the sunlounge by the pool while sipping on a Brave Bull. That’s a Tequila with Kahlua, and the coke is optional, but that’s beside the point. Apparently research for Lifeline has shown that 87% of Australians are stressed, and that’s not good. I suppose it’s alright for the 13% who are not stressed, and presumably are having a fine time. In fact I think I can see them now over on the other side of the pool. But for most of us this stress thing is becoming, well… stressful.
It turns out the most stressful occupations in the community are in the fields of health and community services. That’s not really surprising given that those people have been given the job of providing the critical services which the community ought to be entitled to expect and yet have been given too little money, too few resources, and no encouragement at all. They are given policies, protocols, guidelines, and benchmarks to adhere to, but not the actual facilities they need to do so. We have hospitals with not enough beds, not enough doctors and not enough nurses. We have community workers attempting accommodate thousands of disabled people in a few dozen places. And we have politicians and bureaucrats who manage to run up six fugure lunch bills.
Second on the list of most stressful occupations is education. But that’s hardly surprising given the extraordinary number of rampant anklebiters running riot in our society today. Having been spawned by bogan mothers lying back thinking of their country, as Peter Costello once instructed, and then cashing in the bonus cheque to buy a 50 inch flat screen TV screening non stop Jason Statham action movies, it’s no wonder that there’s a new generation of idle youth which aspires to a life of belligerence, bellicosity, and bashing each other up. It’s only a matter of time until they become binge drinking teenagers, and unemployable graffiti criminals. If that’s what teachers have to deal with these days it’s a marvel that they too aren’t becoming binge drinkers.
Third on the list is “personal and other services”, whatever that means. It could be anything from lawyers to prostitutes, which are pretty much the same thing anyway, that’s why they’re called solicitors, only the prostitutes are honest about it. But it is exceedingly curious that there is no mention of Politicians on the list. Surely with the great and grave responsibilities which confront our politicians they must suffer from terrible levels of stress. Imagine the guilt of sitting back in those big leather armchairs in the sumptuous climate controlled citadels they call offices, fretting and worrying about how to explain that long overseas journey, or the even longer lunches. It must be hell being a politician.
Yes, there’s no shortage of stress in the world today, so it’s probably a good idea to take some time out from struggling with the daily routine of meeting impossible deadlines, wondering how the hell you’re going to be able to afford the next mortgage payment, let alone a tank full of petrol, and stop to smell the proverbial roses. I’m doing my bit, relaxing here by the pool, and you should too. My only concern is that sooner or later the people who run this five star resort are going to realize that my credit card has been declined and they will probably start to become unpleasant and force me to leave. What a pity I never went into politics…
By the way, if you do feel really stressed out and feel like you need to talk about it, give Lifeline a call on 13 11 14. They’re good people and they really do want to help. As for the rest of us, perhaps we should stop worrying quite so much about ourselves, and send a few dollars over to Lifeline to help them out. It really does make a difference.