Wednesday’s Word

During my downtime after my emergency eye surgery, since I was not able to read, I watched a lot of TV. On Friday, June 9, CBS this morning had a segment about a recreational class that teaches how to hear, smell, and see our beautiful planet n our parks. And The 700 Club had a segment about a recent book called The Art of Rest.

On the 11th, CBS Sunday morning featured Musicians on Call.  They go into hospitals and senior living facilities and perform music to give encouragement and uplifting to the patients and residents.  On this broadcast they also talked about a group of 10 men who met in high school and who get together every February to play a game of tag. It looked quite fun!  That same day 60 minutes played a segment about artist JR whose art is called Photography with Dignity.

On one of the programs, I’m sorry I don’t remember, they discussed the increase of suicides in adults. The recent suicides of Katie Spade and Anthony Bordeaux prompted this information.

During this same time everydayhealth.com had a newsletter article about the surprising healthy benefits of taking your exercise outdoors. Really??  The next day they featured a story called Suicides are Increasing in United States—what can we do to prevent it?

So why in the world am I mentioning all this? When I taught school I was a physical education teacher and coach. Physical education along with music and art were considered “specialist” classes. My last year in the classroom was 1994. They were moving more towards decreasing these “special” classes because they were not critical.  Even recess was being phased out.

So now it seems we need to be taught how to enjoy the outdoors, how to rest, that music is important for healing, and photography can be used to help us understand how little differences there are between people.

My first husband committed suicide, so this is something I have experience with. As I’m sure we all know, our healthcare system is a mess. Especially services for mental health. There’s such a huge stigma on it, people often don’t get the help they need.

While growing up, I was a Girl Scout and my brothers were Boy Scouts. We camped not only with scouts but with our family as well.  We traveled widely throughout the United States by car. Both of my children were in scouts and I made it a priority to spend most of our days being active enjoying the out-of-doors.  My son is teaching his children also to enjoy and play and experience the out-of-doors. They are driving from Seattle to Mount Rushmore this summer. What amazing things they will see along the way!

I am not a mental health professional and I do not want to diminish any situation that those who struggle in this area may experience. I would like to know what you think. Have we gotten so far away from enjoying life by being active, listening to good music, and enjoying beautiful art that we need to be taught how to do those things?  What are we setting ourselves up for?

11 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Word

  1. I think you are onto something, Jo Ann. I work with people who have to rush out of work to get their kids to the next practice/game/thing. Then they come to work the next day complaining about how exhausted they are. Think about the kids. The don’t know fun. All they know is competition and non-stop movement. What is wrong with experiencing life from a whole ‘nother perspective? Good post.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Getting outdoors is always a healthy thing to do. You will feel better. As kids, we spent our free time, playing outdoors and so did the others. Now there is the thought that nothing is safe and kids have to be taken from one activity to another with little unstructured time. People commit suicide when they feel hopeless and depressed. Having meaningful interaction with others can make a difference.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I agree with you! So many people stay cooped up indoors that they miss the beauty that lies outside, maybe as near as their front or back door. I’m not able to go out in the heat, so I have to spend a great deal of time indoors, but when I can get out, I’m OUT, looking at the beautiful trees, flowers, plants, everything that God has bestowed upon us. My son is a firefighter, I know I’ve mentioned this, and he has 2 kids, they are both outdoor kids, so to speak. He takes them camping, down to the river to hunt or fish and they have a great appreciation for the out-of-doors. I am so proud of the way my son and daughter-in-law are raising their kids, it is a much more relaxed way than the constant on-the-go way some parents raise their’s.

    I loved this article. You hit the nail on the head. I wholeheartedly agree with you. Great job!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. So sorry for your loss of a loved one through suicide. My husband’s sister committed suicide in the ’80s leaving 4 children, a husband and of course all her sibs and parents behind in the confusion only the aftermath of suicide can generate.

    I remember when they were beginning to eliminate recess – crazy! Considered as ‘wasted time’???? 😦

    I have never been an athlete, but have always been immersed in the natural world in one form or another. I hike, walk, swim, play and explore the outdoors as part of my daily life. Dad jogged each morning around 4am when it was not fashionable to do such a thing. Being a musician, he wasn’t all that athletic either but he lived through to the ripe active age of 93.
    Who’s to say what’s essential for an education? Honestly, life is not segmented, it is all interconnected.
    As an educator yourself you know this to be true in a hands-on way.
    Insightful post, thank you for pubbing it, Jo Ann.

    Liked by 1 person

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