WSV columnist and limited licensed psychologist Charles Thomas writes, “While there weren’t many silver linings to the pandemic, one good thing that did happen as a result of it was that our culture developed a fresh appreciation of the importance of mental health care. But a large block of Americans has been left behind. This is in spite of the fact that they make up nearly 80% of all suicides, have fewer friendships and social connections than other groups, and are also more likely to binge drink and have substance use disorders than other groups.”
Big World Small Town
Watershed Voice columnist Charles Thomas writes, “Because ChatGPT can write essays, I thought it would be interesting to ask it to write a couple of essays for Watershed Voice about recent issues we’ve reported on. (The following) is an edited transcript of my conversation with ChatGPT, along with ChatGPT’s first work for Watershed Voice.”
Watershed Voice columnist Charles Thomas writes, “If you’re lonely this Valentine’s Day, I think it’s normal and even laudable to yearn for the opportunity to love in this active way and to find the kind of love that is real, harsh, and at times, even dreadful.
“But dreaming of a love perpetually frozen in the moments after a meet cute is likely to bring only sorrow. While that kind of love does exist, it’s as fragile as a soap bubble that immediately pops when hit with the faintest of breezes. When that bubble has burst, we are left with a mess that must be cleaned up. Then it’s time for us to start the harder task of active love. As G.K. Chesterton wrote, ‘to love means loving the unlovable.'”
Watershed Voice columnist Charles Thomas writes about the importance of deliberate practice when attempting to develop expertise.
WSV columnist Charles Thomas recalls the “saddest Christmas” he’s ever had, and how a recent exchange with a Las Vegas taxi driver helped put into focus what Charles and many of us take for granted.
Watershed Voice columnist Charles Thomas imagines what C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters” would look like if instead of trying to damn “the patient” to hell, the two demons at the center of the story tried to create the worst mental health in that patient. So if you’re looking to improve your mental health, stop listening to those inner demons, and go for a walk.
Watershed Voice columnist Charles Thomas writes, “Having now lived for a half century, I remember a time when things were different. I remember when people who disagreed could have vigorous debate about a topic and then walk away still liking the other person. In short, I remember a time when we were all better at empathy.”
WSV Columnist Charles Thomas writes about the ongoing controversy surrounding Riverside Church, and how we might address perpetual problems like sexual and spiritual abuse as a society.
WSV’s Charles Thomas suggests three steps to take when learning how to lose with grace.
WSV’s Charles Thomas writes, “The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu was one of the great spiritual giants of our time, so when I learned that he had once visited our fair city of Three Rivers, I was shocked.”
Big World, Small Town columnist Charles Thomas ranks what he believes are his five best columns of 2021.
WSV’s Charles Thomas writes, “The honest truth is that many of us feel sad around Christmas time. If that’s where you are this year, please know that you are not alone.”
WSV’s Charles Thomas writes about importance of beauty, as well as the risk and reward of sharing one’s creative efforts with the world. “Why do they take the risk? Why put yourself in a position to have something you worked on for hundreds of hours become the subject of ridicule? Why risk openness and honesty when we live in a culture that has a strong tendency to mock almost everything? I’m sure there is no single answer to those questions, but I think an important reason that we take those risks is because deep down, all of us want to be a part of something beautiful. In fact, I think that a drive to merge with the beautiful is essential to who we are as human beings.”
It’s often said it takes a village to raise a child but the same can be said about an independent, nonprofit news organization. Over the next two weeks we’ll introduce or in some cases re-introduce the people who make Watershed Voice what it is today.
WSV’s Charles Thomas writes about legacy, immortality, and the importance of perspective during a long life lived.
WSV’s Charles Thomas argues a person doesn’t have to attend an Ivy League school to better their lives or the lives of their children in this week’s “Big World, Small Town.”
WSV’s Charles Thomas writes, “Denial is considered an unhealthy defense mechanism while suppression is considered healthy. Sure, you could sit around all day and ponder the inevitability of death, but thanks to suppression, most of us are able to put that nasty little detail out of our minds and do the dishes, mow the lawn or write the column. But the denial of death, on the other hand, can lead to people making risky decisions or living what Plato called ‘an unexamined life.’ When it comes to defense mechanisms, it’s important to make the healthy choice.”
WSV’s Charles Thomas tells the story of Spencer Silver and Art Fry, who together invented Post-It Notes in the 1970s, as an example of the “amazing things (that) can happen when people collaborate.”