Do you know why Israel is so healthy?
1. Most of us live by the water. Kind of ironic, isn’t it? A desert nation in the Middle East where the people are laid back because they live close to the water.
2. We don't hold things in. If someone has a problem, he makes it known immediately. If you are annoyed at something, you say so. If you are annoyed at someone, you tell him. The natural conclusion is that we must be a very contentious and angry society, right?
It may seem counter intuitive but when you let out every issue the moment you have it, the energy level for each issue is in direct proportion to its level of frustration. Most confrontations here are without any “festering” anger, whether it be with a boss, friend, spouse, parent, whatever. People seldom overreact to situations and arguments diffuse quickly.
With so much to deal with in terms of enemies, terrorism, and wars, we have enough “crap” to deal with all the time. Anything we can immediately dispose of, we do at the first opportunity. People here tend to be less stressed out than in western countries.
Do you know what they call cancer in New York? They call it the Jewish disease. It’s not an anti-sematic label. It’s just that Jews disproportionately get this disease. We are a very serious and focused people.
In some parts of the world, the culture demands we bottle it all in, forcing it to fester and grow. We either let it out by having a nervous breakdown, being a jerk to everyone out of a feeling of constant rage, or worse, it eats us up inside like a cancer, G-d forbid.
In Israel, our culture demands we air out everything. We may have to deal with bullets and rockets, but when it comes to serious stress, which kills a lot more, our society knows how to handle it. As someone who moved here for good at age 35, I have seen firsthand positive transformations in people all around me who learned to gradually let go of the western way of dealing with stress. They are a lot happier.
It’s never too late.
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