Copyright, Li Read, 2009
The closing months of 2008 were full of endless disclosures of collapsing companies, and a very gloomy economic picture was coming to the fore.
Deflation was being mentioned frequently. Job losses, continuing bottoming out in the housing sector, and constant volatility in the stock markets (mostly on the loss side), with an equally constant eroding of an individual's net worth position, added to the gloomy picture. The financial sector, post their earlier bailout, had not brought liquidity to the marketplace.
This collapse, a feature of all of 2008, perhaps began its initial unravelling in late 2005/early 2006. Everyone has great 20/20 hindsight vision, but few noted the signposts of change.
Now that the change is firmly on all our plates, there is a fear factor that creates a paralysis of action.
With the three bedrocks of the culture of the latter third of the 20th Century having all collapsed at the same time (housing market, financial market, stock market), it's a clear sign that we are in a new place. What occurs from now on is, perhaps, the real beginning of the 21st Century. (Change doesn't occur with a calendar roll-over. The first years of a new century often seem a continuation of the former).
Along with the financial turmoils (and there is an argument for inflation, post bailout/money printing), the schism between the open society model of the Western culture, with its nod to the validity of individual thought, is at an extreme confrontation moment with an insular tribal-oriented philosophy. A fractured regionalism is also a global dynamic. The former super powers seem merely adrift. No one has a road map.
Perhaps the real driver of the 21st Century is going to be found in the continuing evolving of the web/virtual world? When a major cable network sets up a way for an individual to report news in his/her area, and this is mirrored at the hometown t.v. level, we are seeing the power of the consumer of information at work. Any individual's news report has the same weight as the professional who owned the information, in an earlier time.
There is something liberating about this kind of consumer centric power, but it is going to create a new societal model. If all information is evenly weighted, how can one separate out the essential from the merely interesting? And if anyone can add to wikkipedia type encyclopedias, how can we verify the inclusions? If we don't wake up our dormant editing functions, on an individual basis, we could be in trouble.
We do, though, all have the power, as individuals, to effect change, and to "help the world". Maybe it's not the information age, but rather the communication age.
Right now, instead of communicating fear, let's communicate ideas, and bring our creative juices into the mix of turbulence that 2008 has delivered to 2009.
There is a door in every wall, and each of us has the option of being proactive, instead of merely reactive, and going to look for it.
So, lots of breakdowns in 2008? Well, this is 2009, and new models can be created.
Swallow fear, digest the past, stop blaming and simply assign responsibility, and move on.
We are creative beings, after all, and we have built space platforms, invented new medicines, sent a shovel to Mars, got ourselves in and out of cul de sacs before...this time, because of web based communication, the entire globe is our playing field, and there are lots of idea factories out there....
Up to us to go digging!
For information on a property purchase on Salt Spring Island or on another Southern Gulf Island, please contact me. It's a new year and a new market cycle, and one that is in favour of the buyer. I look forward to helping you to connect with your Island dream. Looking forward to your call.
Sea to Sky Premier Properties