Who matters most

12 Jul

People matter.

The past few years have been hard.Hard on everyone.Not just financially but also physically and mentally. We all know why financially, but we have also sacrificed our health by not eating the right foods because the fat and sugar filled foods are always cheaper or on special offer and on display the minute we enter a supermarket. Healthy organic food is not always an option due to families financial restrictions.Healthy food makes more sense not only to the people ingesting it but also to the Government health boards fighting health related illness and obesity
We spend more money on car and road safety then we do on mental health. Yet in countries like Ireland the rate of road deaths are half the numbers that die by suicide each year.

We have pitted Private sector workers against Public sector workers. Public sector workers are branded lazy while only 7 years ago public workers complained about the opportunities and bonuses that private sector workers enjoyed while public sector were seen as having sacrificed aspiration and a ride on the gravy train for a commitment to their jobs as Teachers, civil servants and Nurses.
The people of Greece are portrayed as lazy. People who spent a two-week holiday on any of their islands can testify to witnessing an almost laid back enjoyment of life (how dare they)and a healthy life expectancy.
The Irish drank, laughed and spent their way to oblivion. The Spanish and Portuguese spent half the afternoon in bed and the Italians are so corrupt it was bound to happen. All stereotypes that we have half the world conveniently thinking is true. All stereotypes that conveniently tell the rest of the world why working harder and more austerity are the answers.

These are not the answers. Richard Layards Manifesto for Economic sense lays testament to this.
Austerity does not encourage people to spend and contribute to society. Shops and business’s on our high streets have not all closed because they had poor business plans it is because the important cog in their financial wheel the customer is no longer in the wheel. Simple. No one is spending. Austerity also discourages companies to invest in economies because companies only invest in markets they can foresee customers with enough income to spend.
Cuts in our public sector will do nothing to improve our economies. We only cut what seems unnecessary but is ultimately the most valuable.
Imagine cutting 20% off every mortgage in the country. What would that do for a stagnant economy. People are scared to spend or simply can’t participate in everyday activities that they did before because the finances don’t allow. Austerity is a noose around all of our necks.
Today I was presenting to a group of Mental health patients that have had their services cut. One member I will call Jeff came to me before my presentation and spoke of his mental health issues. Something hugely traumatic happened to him at a particular time in his life. Since that moment he has had panic attacks when he enters that reminds him of the trauma he experienced. I asked was he receiving any help for this to help erase the panic attacks. He said that he had received some Cognitive behavioural therapy but this had been stopped due to a cut in resources. He came to me because he had started to self medicate to numb the pain because he didn’t know where else to turn.
Where are we as human beings if we feel that caring for our fellow brothers and sisters is no longer a priority and even though suicide rates in Ireland and particularly Greece have increased over the past 3 years we have more important matters to focus on like stabilizing markets, currencies and propping up financial institutions.

Once again if we all asked ourselves when we walked out our front doors each day “What can I do today to make other people’s lives better”. This question should come from everyone, Government officials, Bankers, Fuel company Ceo’s, right through to the customer service representative that is there to help you get a better result from the service they provide.

Until then…we are asking the wrong questions and ultimately forsaking what really matters…our people.

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