Pilot of the Jet Blue plane
Nick Jacobs (April 2, 2012)
Everyone described him as a rock-solid, noncontroversial human being, and all of his neighbors, friends and family were shocked by his actions.
Robert Bales, who was accused of killing 17 Afghan citizens, the commentator indicated that sleep deprivation and stress can turn any human being into a moral moron. “Your decisions become so clouded and incongruent that anything becomes possible,” he said.
There was also a very distressing Pittsburgh meltdown last week: A highly respected CEO in this area cracked and was arrested for fighting with the husband of his mistress. His listed salary was about $4 million. But more importantly, he was working to lead his organization in a new direction that could literally be a prime example of what may be possible in the new health-care arena of these United States. His path was truly one of great risk, amazing strength, and deep understanding of the new Healthcare Reform legislation.
It meant taking on the UPMC juggernaut while preserving choice in health care in the Pittsburgh region. It also meant managing numerous very strong personalities who either agreed, disagreed, or thought they could do whatever was to be done in a better way than their leader. Literally at stake were millions and millions of dollars. A $1.2 billion debt was also knocked into the risk portfolio because of his meltdown.
Many countries regulate the work week by law, such as stipulating minimum daily rest periods, annual holidays and a maximum number of working hours per week. Most European countries include a spa week as part of their health prescription as well.
During a conversation with a business agent in the Netherlands, I told her I would see her in August, to which she replied, “You really don’t understand, do you? We threw out the Pilgrims and Puritans, and you still live by their standards. We have 54 days off a year, and no one will be here in August.”
It’s a well known fact that US workers put in the longest hours on the job in the industrialized nations, and we are spending the most on our health in the United States with some of the worst outcomes, and we are the only nation that does not provide health coverage for its population.
Bottom line: Maybe all of these guys, Dr. Melani, Staff Sgt. Bales and Capt. Clayton Osborn, all needed a break. Battle fatigue can be a dangerous enemy, and the results can be both economically and physically lethal.
On the other hand, maybe they just needed to trade places with their wives for a few weeks.
That’s when they would learn about real stress. In most cases, they get the kids up, make breakfast, make sure they have everything they need for school, work all day, get home, make dinner, wash, iron, clean, work out, help with homework, coordinate the books for the local youth league, get the kids bathed, feed the dog, make the beds and whatever.
Add onto that the fact that they usually have to deal with some “mean girls” stuff, and they still end up doing all of those required beauty things that involve wax and creams.
We can’t turn back the clock for any of these individuals mentioned above, but we can learn to carve out 20 or 40 minutes a day to nurture ourselves, to breathe deeply and to rid our minds of the unnecessary.
Take a hot bath, get a massage, go out with your dog or just try to walk your cat.
And don’t fly without a license.