- Glenn Sonnenberg
Musings from the Bunker 7/7/20
You have to able to let “the other side” have their laughs. This was from Tom Masenga, a “Domer” of the highest order (with a dog named Charlie Weis).
IMPROVING OUR MENTAL HEALTH: SOURCES, SIGNS AND SOLUTIONS
Here is the description of an important one hour webinar that I will be moderating this Wednesday July 15th at 4:00 p.m., sponsored by the USC Hillel Bradley Sonnenberg Wellness Initiative and the USC Law School Real Estate Forum:
Mental health concerns – in the business world and amongst professional students – are on the rise. Once stigmatized, issues of mental health are being addressed in the workplace in meaningful ways. A dramatic increase in suicide rates and depression over the last few years, arising from typical work-related stress, an uncertain economy, challenged inter-personal relationships, and the increased isolation of COVID, make knowing how to help others – and help ourselves – a critical skill. This expert panel will discuss the pressures and expectations that adversely affect mental health, common symptoms of anguish, and tactics in approaching those who are depressed or are in turmoil. Finally, the panelists will suggest ideas for better coping with a high-pressure lifestyle in difficult times.
Here is the link to register for the panel: https://usc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YGReTjABSt694cj18GoMig
This is a free webinar covering an important topic. The two main panelists are fantastic. For those who are lawyers, include your State Bar #, as continuing education credit will be given (1 hour of professional competence credit).
BEING PREPARED AND RESPONSIBLE AND CARING FOR THOSE IN OUR WAKE
I read this and felt it so powerful it had to be shared. It is written by Mark Ferrell, a friend of mine from high school. While many of you are aware of the low regard in which I hold Facebook, it has offered the opportunity to maintain some contact with friends from long ago. Here it is:
"When I go on a backpacking trip in the High Sierra, I always bring several items. I bring a bear canister, a water filter, and a first aid kit. There's a very good chance that I won't have a bear encounter or need first aid. And there's a small chance that I'll get giardia or cryptosporidium by drinking unfiltered water. But I bring these precautionary items anyway.
Why? It's just the smart thing to do. And it's considerate.
If a bear happens upon me and eats my food, I'll be without food. But that's not the real problem. The real problem is, by my negligence and uncaring, I've helped habituate a bear to human food. That makes the bear more aggressive, which means it will have to be euthanized. So I carry my food in a locked bear canister so that I'm not complicit in the unnecessary killing of an innocent, wild animal... whose home I invade for a brief time for fun. The least I can be, as an uninvited guest, is courteous and respectful.
There's a very limited chance that I'll need first aid. And there's a small chance that my companion will need first aid, yet there it is, in my pack. You just never know when you'll need it. A trip, a fall, a stomach ache, a fracture, etc. can happen at anytime. But the last thing I'd say is, "Well, the chances are so small, I won't carry a first aid kit." And most people who would go with me wouldn't feel comfortable going with me if I had that attitude. Could they depend on me as a partner if I did? Not really. What other errors in judgement would I make?
I filter my water in the back country. What would happen if I got sick halfway through a trip? Well, it's no fun. Explosive diarrhea, severe stomach cramps, vomiting, dehydration, among other symptoms. But that's not the worst of it. I would impact other peoples' lives due to my selfishness. It would most definitely inconvenience those backpacking with me. I might have to be rescued. Search and Rescue teams could be taken away from a more severe call, like a missing person or a fallen climber. Someone could die because I was too stubborn to bring a water filter.
A mentor once told me that a ship's Captain is responsible for more than the ship, the crew, and the passengers. A Captain is responsible for the ship's wake too, and the damage it causes. That stuck with me. What do I leave in my "wake?" What damage or possible damage am I responsible for by my actions?
I think about that a lot. We're all connected, whether we are conscious of it or not. We all impact others, whether we are aware of it or not. What are you leaving in your "wake?" What's important to you?
When we're children, we are unaware of others' needs. We are selfish as children and our parents teach us to care about others; to be considerate of others; and courteous. As we mature, we recognize the needs of others and the needs of the community. As we mature, we make decisions that benefit others and the community. We understand the consequences of our actions. We recognize our responsibility we have for our "wake."
When we grow up, we do the right thing.
I hope to see many of you next Wednesday for the webinar on mental health.