The world is rapidly changing, and all research about social conditions in contemporary America point to people getting more and more isolated from each other. In fact, this decline in America’s social capital is the entire focus of Robert Putnam’s famous book Bowling Alone.
Millennials are markedly less likely to attend church or belong to a religious organization than their parents or grandparents were. Families are small and more fractured than they used to be, and people spend far more time on their phones and personal devices searching out entertainment rather than building personal relationships or even just hanging with friends. In 2014 the National Science foundation reported that more than a quarter of the 1,500 Americans they interviewed “said that they have no one with whom they can talk about their personal troubles or triumphs.” In short, people are lonely. They are desperately lonely today.
Lonely people burn out far more easily in both their personal lives and at work. Life throws challenges at all of us - whether that means relationship problems, financial difficulties, health issues, work stresses, grief or loss. These are not things the people handle well on their own. Human beings aren’t built to handle problems alone. They’re naturally social, but the social networks that force people to socialize even when they don’t feel like it or want to and that keep people accountable and standing when life tries to knock them down are disappearing.
D+M Metal is investing in our workers’ mental and social health by bringing in chaplains for a summer lunchtime series.
June 14 Dealing with Anxiety
June 28 Why forgive?
July 12 Finding Hope in a Hopeless World
July 26 Faith and Doubt
August 9 Dealing with Chronic Illness
August 23 Handling Finances
Chaplains offer a trained professional ear to people. Talking about problems is in itself therapeutic, but chaplains are also capable of recommending other services or advice that could help in solving problems. This is important for people who feel they are alone or dealing with issues no one around them is. Furthermore, encouraging employees to get to know each other also can help create workplace bonds between people who may offer support and encouragement in future crises.
D+M’s presenters will be Chaplains Jim Tait and Carol Petter. Each session will address a real-life issue, and will be conversational and informal. Questions and comments are encouraged before, during and after each session. No one is obligated to come, but all of our employees are welcome. We are glad to be able to offer this service. It’s one way our company is paying it forward into tomorrow!