Copyright, Li Read, 2008
The financial crisis worsens. People who thought they had planned well, and done everything "right", find that they're out of work, or their "nest egg" has vanished, so retirement is out of the question, or it's not possible to find the discretionary income to take that trip, or buy something for the kids, or splash out on a new dress, or...you name it, it's "up for grabs", and the loss of a house in a foreclosure is the iceberg itself, not just the tip.
In times of struggle, it's essential to remember ourselves as saavy humans, the ones who got out of the cave & the hunter/gatherer mindset and onto the farm, into a village, morphing into a city, a nation, a lifestyle that includes watching blast-offs to a space station and a Mars rover trying to find signs of life. The experiment to replicate the "big bang", deep in the earth below part of Switzerland, has been imagined into existence by humans.
It's ok to lie down on the floor and wail and moan for a bit; it gets rid of our inability to think. It lets us weep away the screen of disbelief! Maybe a day or two of moaning is allowed.
Then it's time to look around, and see what's still standing, and what we can do to create a positive outcome -- if not this week, then maybe next. If not next month, then maybe three months down the road. We are the architects of our fate. If it takes a couple of years, that's ok, too, as long as we have our health, our family, our friends (that includes the four-footed ones), and are actively pursuing positive growth.
What about planting a garden? Growing one's own food can be satisfying, and at least we can trust what we put into our mouths. What about helping disadvantaged, in nursing homes or in hospitals or in half-way care facilities? We will remind ourselves that there are always those worse off than ourselves. Compassion, and a helping nature, are healers of wounds. What about going back to school, taking a philosophy course, or a writing course, or a photography course, or learn Spanish at long last, or....
What about walking places, not just to save gas but to create healthier bodies, and to release those endorphins that bring about a positive attitude. Stop watching the endlessness of cable news reporting. Nothing is to be gained, and everything is to be lost, by that repetition of scratching the sore. Sit around, and you'll become depressed. Exercise, and positivity comes in with the increased breathing.
Make your own wine, walk as many places as possible, grow your own food, learn to sew and create your own clothing line, remember what made our countries great in the first place -- it was people moving to a "new world", without all the conveniences of the old, and creating a "new life", and they were self-sufficient and created what they needed.
It's in our cellular levels, somewhere, and it's up to us to remember the simple things of life, and to get back on track.
Here's the opportunity: everyone is in the same boat, which means anyone of us can "repair", and bring benefit to our entire society. We're all in the same place of indecision and momentary fear.
I once read a book by the German writer Herman Hesse ("Steppenwolf"). It was interesting on many levels, but the one thought he stated, towards the end of the novel, was along the lines of: "we can't get rid of anything; it's in our baggage. Treat life as a chess game. The same pieces, the same board. All we can do is to tip the board, every now and again, and rearrange the pieces."
An interesting concept. Sometimes, if we're slow, life itself tips the board. Now comes the opportunity moment, which all change brings: and you are going to do....?????
It really is up to us.
Sometimes, people think that one individual cannot accomplish anything valuable. I always remind such naysayers that Ghandi, who was thrown off a train in South Africa, because he wasn't white, ended up creating a country (India) by following his path of non-violent protest. That was one individual's constant and consistent effort that resulted in this amazing end result. Martin Luther King borrowed Ghandi's non-violent protest methods and created a social revolution that was long overdue. Again, one person's action motivated a group. Think of Mother Teresa and what she accomplished, as "just one person".
There really is no "them"; there's just "us".
Yes, the financial sector is in total disarray, and even currencies may not be stable. Yes, the housing market has reduced substantially in value, wiping out a lot of equity built up over time. Yes, the volatility of the stock market has created huge losses. Yes, there are wars in many parts of the world, plus famines and disease. Yes, the insecurity of the 21st Century is strongly with us -- no one has a road map, and so it's definitely not business as usual.
In change lies opportunity.
It means that we all have the responsibility of looking for that door in the wall. There are no protruding handles to show us where it is, either. We have to feel around, try on things, look for that new path that will lead us out of the current morass the world seems to be wallowing in. We all have the opportunity to discover the path, and to shine a light on it for others. There is no "leader" that really is any more equipped to do this for us, than we are ourselves.
So, is that the true meaning of the 21st Century? Each individual can create the solutions?
Maybe that's why Google is offering 10 million dollars to someone who comes up with an idea that will help the world. It's to celebrate Google's tenth anniversary. What a great challenge to us all, though. An idea to help the world...your thoughts are?
For real estate information for Salt Spring Island and the Southern Gulf Islands, please give me a call.