When we’re young, all roads are open to us. We are, if lucky, encouraged to seek every avenue, try every gamble, become part of something. We are valued, and always considered to be full of possibilities.
When we’re older, those roads are closed to us because of years. We are far too often discouraged from seeking something new, told the gambles aren’t worth it, blocked from paths we’d like to try because there are younger alternatives for traveling those roads. We are less valued, and often looked upon as one who has used all possibilities.
Dozens of people I know are far from their 20s or 30s and still have much to offer professionally, yet they are shunned as if suffering from an infectious disease. They are partitioned, made to feel disposable, shuffled to the back and ignored.
America is at this moment in the throes of frightening levels of sexism, racism, but for this conversation, ageism. It leaves so many talented people angry, depressed, wondering what they will face in those later years. Many are often asking why they should even bother to try. There is a loneliness and outrage from these people, often believing they have nothing left to live for.

Helplessness is real in 21st century America. It has never been to this level in generations. There used to be ways for those with experience and sterling qualities to still chase a dream. Corporate greed, the massive gulf between those who are wealthy and those who struggle, and the generalization of those over 40 as being disposable are all pieces of a mental health disaster in our midst.

Another piece of this deplorable puzzle is the well-stated fact that most employers never take the time to actually read resumes, CV’s, or doing actual research into possible members of their team. Textual bots are used to seek out keywords, and if they’re not present, the applications are automatically rejected. Management claims this is in order to save time, when in reality it’s all about weeding out those with vast experience which could and likely would demand a higher rate of pay.

The facts are there, from 8 second skims of a resume seeking keywords to the exorbitant and “lengthy” ten second skim of someone‘s life.

Youth is treasured, not because of experience, but because of cost. Those with experience are being cast to the wayside as companies and employers would prefer to eschew knowledge in favor of automatons.

We are reducing the lives and experiences of a vast part of our workforce, those who sometimes are desperate to get back into the game, to less time than it takes to microwave toast.

Many people caught in this vortex believe there is no future, and no reason to continue.

Often, there is no one there willing to help or change what society has become. They have no families or are disconnected from the ones they have. Their friends have their own lives and abandon them. Employers look at them as used up, having had their chance.
Which leaves desperate people concluding that, indeed, why go on? They are left with no inspiration, no possibilities of remaining pertinent, and unable to shake the feelings of bottomless despair.
Amidst all what passes for nonsense in our lives, this is truly a hidden nightmare so many people face every day. And even words of inspiration have grown thin and tiresome.
Every day, there are those wondering….why should I go on, and why believe anyone would miss me?
Employers need to be held liable and responsible for being the focus of what has turned into a mental health issue in America.
Personally? Say something nice to someone today. You never know how close they could be to the edge.