Making a difference begins with respect

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, April 16, 2022

Happy Easter! 

According to the National Confectioners Association, Easter season is a major moment for the confectionery industry, totaling about $4 billion in sales in 2021 alone. Easter confectionery sales are expected to be 5 to 7 percent higher this year.  That’s great news for those who love and enjoy sweets that their chocolate and candy will be available. 

But what about the folks who enjoy a nice, boiled egg?  And then there’s so many who won’t be decorating eggs this Easter.  Seems that the bird flu has had an enormous impact on the availability and the price of eggs.  Didn’t see that coming!  Think about all the restaurants that serve breakfast and use lots and lots of eggs.  Will your breakfast cost more?  You bet.  

Not only am I concerned about the price of eggs.  There are many worries that fill my head.  I’m admittedly a worrier.  It’s part of my DNA.  To begin, I can’t imagine what life is like in Ukraine.  How can this be happening in the twenty first century?  So many reports of death, destruction, and wartime atrocities.  People who are starving, separated from their families.  So much sadness.  How can this be brought to an end?

According to what I read, the housing market is expected to remain robust.  That should be good news, right? Translation is that prices will continue to soar, and inventory will remain low.  I hear crazy stories about the cost of building materials which have increased more than 30 percent since 2020.  My advice to you before you put your house on the market, better find an affordable place to live.  There’s the domino effect going on here you know.  

And then there’s the airline industry which finds themselves having to cancel flights due to lack of pilots and flight attendants coupled with the increase in the number of people who want to travel.  Do you see a price increase in airline tickets?  Oh yes!  Speaking of airline travel, remember those stories about people behaving badly on airplanes.  Will that continue to be a problem, particularly if more people are travelling?  Perhaps before they allow people to board the plane, they need to give them a quiz.  The questions could be:  Are you feeling grumpy today?  Are you “hangry?”  Have you been drinking?  Might also ask the pilot that one.  

Another concern is the mental health crisis in our country.  Even before the pandemic in 2019, close to 20 percent of adults experienced a mental illness.  And more alarming is the fact that fewer than half of adults with a mental illness do not receive treatment. We must do better.  According to the American Psychiatric Association, “Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities.”   Sounds about right given the global pandemic along with all that life throws at us.  

There are so many daunting issues:  inflation, immigration, crime, violence, homelessness, guns, drugs, and the lack of respect for each other.  So many things over which we have no control.  Take inflation for instance.  The average household is spending an additional $327 per month due to inflation.  That is a genie that just got out of the bottle for many reasons.  With regard to immigration, who wouldn’t want to come to the United States?  We are the land of plenty.  Then there’s crime and violence.  I think there’s more crime because the consequences are not severe enough.  And when our leadership and techno folks can’t figure out a way to stop robo calls, it’s pretty evident that these other issues will remain unsolved.  

I told you all I was a worrier.  Hope I haven’t set your worry genes in motion.  I’m pretty sure that my concerns are also your concerns.  Let’s work together to address these issues.  I’m pretty sure we can make a difference.  And it begins with respect and kindness for one another.  Happy Easter!  Go find some eggs!

 

Bonnie Brown writes a weekly column for The Eagle. Contact her at bbrown@olemiss.edu.