Pictures float through social media by means of an odd meme-culture which somewhat confuses me, I admit. Many soap-box-meme-rants shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but every now and then you find one deserving of comment. Below is an example, to which I will offer two responses:
Maybe increased bleeding highlights a need for stitches, not bandages? When I read, “rise in U.S. suicides,” as Christian, my immediate response is, “People need Christ.” The joy God gives through the person and work of Jesus Christ is incomparable. This joy is capable of shattering the grip of all earthly suffering. I’m not saying there is never a circumstance in which one should take anti-depressants. However, I certainly am saying suicide is emblematic of a Christ-less spiral downward – something even God’s elect are capable of falling into. To rephrase Reuters’ quote, “Rise in U.S. suicides highlights need for the Gospel.”
This quote may be photoshopped – so “Yusuf” (@yusuf.VI) may not actually be the author. This doesn’t change the fact someone is the author, and that someone needs to be responded to.
Yusuf points to seven problems which, he implies, are to blame for depression and rising U.S. suicides. Here are my responses to these seven problems, respectively.
- “We’re overworked” – Slavery (if we aren’t counting the prison system) is illegal in the U.S. If you don’t think your work-load is fair, take it up with your supervisor or find another job. You have the freedom to do this in the U.S.
- “We’re underpaid” – Similar to my advice above: if you don’t think you’re being paid enough, take it up with your supervisor or find another job. In addition, keep in mind how much wealthier the average, modern American is than anyone else in the world and Americans in previous generations. Household wealth and luxury of living has risen dramatically across all social and economical groups in the U.S.
- “We can’t afford our student debt” – No one forced you to go to college and acquire this debt. If you say, “My family certainly did,” I will respond, “You’re an adult at 18, so no.” Further, student debt is extremely flexible in terms of how it can be paid off. Even those living in poverty can afford it (though you may no be able to buy the new xbox).
- “We can’t afford a doctor” – This objection is very general, but isn’t realistic no matter how we take it. First, many jobs provide good prices on health insurance (e.g. teachers). Second, even without health insurance, immediate care/crisis centers are available for relatively cheap, emergency situations – and you don’t need insurance for them. Third, hospitals often allow repayment plans, which means if your life is in danger, you have access to medical aid. Fourth, for thousands of years mankind has lived depraved of immediate and modern medical aid. Put yourself in that perspective and be thankful for whatever access you do have/can afford.
- “We can’t afford a home” – Buying a home is a big purchase, something worth saving and working towards over a period of several years. If you won’t be able to afford a home in your immediate future, move somewhere the market is better. Otherwise, you’re just being lazy.
- “We can’t afford a family” – Marriage has incredible financial benefits, so that can’t be what you’re talking about. Children are certainly a financial burden, but there are two options here. First, you can wrap it up and work hard until you feel comfortable trying with your spouse. Second, you can recognize the immense blessing children are (much more than money) and put it in God’s hands.
- “(all this is happening) while people at the top take most of the value of our labor for themselves” – At the top of what, exactly? A company that someone owns (i.e. their private property)? What is the value of your labor, except what you agree to be paid for it? You don’t have to sign a contract you don’t like. I hope everyone reading this article noticed this comment for what it is: marxism, straightforward and to the point.
In light of these seven, flat assertions, Yusuf’s conclusion “we need a better economy” seems uncalled for an vague. Perhaps, “we need to turn to Christ and discipline our emotions,” is more accurate.