One worrying consequence of the results-driven society in which we live is the perception that there must be a clear cut explanation for everything.
I was listening to a radio DJ a few days ago who was guffawing at the thought of some or other A-list celeb suffering from depression. He listed all the things the celeb should be grateful for (megamillions, looks, beautiful house, thousands of adoring fans, etc.) and asked, "What has she got to be depressed about?"
This indicates a complete lack of understanding about depression. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you here and now that one doesn't get depressed 'about' something. You can be in the midst of the most positive circumstances imaginable get deeply depressed. On the other hand, you can be in the middle of a complete crisis, and cope just fine, even if you're prone to depression.
We live in a society that wants an explanation for everything: Why are you depressed? How can you be lonely? Why can't you understand this? Why aren't you getting As at school? How on earth did you manage to lose your way?
I was listening to Eric Weiner talking about his new book The Geography of Bliss today, and he described how the Thai culture doesn't feel the need for this. They also consider excessive thinking to be bad for you, and have an expression which translates as "Don't think so much" and another which translates as "Let it go". These are both traits I could stand to learn! I agonise over everything and I want that big pink bow: resolution/closure.
I am all in favour of teaching our kids that their decisions have consequences, and a proponent of letting them learn how to deal with the consequences of their choices (within reason) in a safe environment. However, perhaps we should consider whether we haven't taken this one a little too far.
The famous prayer comes to mind:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.