Friday, March 24, 2017

A struggling middle-aged man

Today I was reminded of something I’ve read before that’s very troubling.  About two years ago, researchers discovered that American white middle-aged men were dying younger.  What was concerning to me about their early mortality is how it’s occurring during an era where America’s overall life expectancy is increasing.

As the self-proclaimed ambassador of all middle-aged men around the world, this closer-to-home discovery knocks the wind of out me.

Follow-up work by the same researchers attribute the lack of steady and well-paying jobs for white middle-aged men lacking higher education.  This early mortality phenomenon has had a steady uptick to it for the past one and one-half decades.

It’s not just the lack of good paying jobs but also reduced marriage rates and poor health.  So, which comes first?  Does the lack of good-paying jobs contribute to reduced marriage rates and poor health, or is it the other way around?

Regardless, our middle-aged men brothers from different mothers are checking out way too early in life.  It begs a question of what can you and I can do to help in some small way.

It may simply be being aware of others whose paths we cross in our hurried day-to-day lives.  For us to take the time to stop, smell our roses, look a stranger in the eye with a smile, and extend an inviting small-talk greeting.  To ask someone how their day is going or pay them a compliment.

We’ll never know how the little things we do might make all the difference in the life of someone who may be struggling for reasons unbeknownst to us, like the white middle-aged men included in these researchers’ studies.

You and I may not be able to solve world hunger or other large-scale problems, but we surely can, in some small way, bring momentary joy to a struggling middle-age man.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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