This is serious

  • Published
  • By Chaplain (Maj) Steve Svoboda
  • 934th Airlift Wing Chaplain
This is serious. It has been called the 'new normal' - the constant state of flux, change and stress in our communities, much of it centered in the economy. It has affected nearly every one, and nearly everyone can name the problems - both inside and outside the gate. This new normal is dictating drastic changes in the way we live and work.

It is serious because what happens inside and outside the gate affects our mission. Providing mission capable Airmen ready to perform the will of our great nation requires more than just 2 of every 30 days. Elements such as a healthy family; a strong marriage; finding life-giving relationships with those whom we love and care for; achieving the material success to provide for ourselves and those dear to us; these things are some basic components of a resilient spirit that allow our Airmen to do the mission with selfless excellence.

Conversely, remove one of these elements and it begins to degrade the mission by degrading the spirit of our people. The best technology invented has yet to replace a living, breathing Airman who is at who is at the heart of that call to do our nation's bidding. One would not think that stress and anxiety could do such things, but the alarming statistics on suicide and those tracking other health issues say otherwise.

Resiliency is largely a matter of the human spirit. That spirit is being pushed and squeezed. It is time to push back.
We can take this on and it will not cost a dime. We can take this on and it will take less time than the latest CBT - much less! Best of all, the resiliency of the human spirit is built dramatically by positive input. The key is being a good Wingman and providing that input. Yeah - yeah, you already knew that. But what have you done with that knowledge? Who has benefitted from you flying their wing? It is too easy to let the incidental details of our lives gain precedence over our responsibility to look out for those around us.

What our community cannot afford to change in this 'new normal' environment is our commitment to look out for each other and take care of each other. Stressors occur in every life. We are not obligated to be 'fixers'. But we do have an obligation to care for those in our community, to remind them that they are not alone, and to show them by our actions that we are with them - now and for the long haul. This is our 'normal'. It is serious business; but in uniform or out, it is our business.