About a half an hour ago, I was sitting here at the computer cruising some of my favorite internet haunts.
The family TV is placed directly behind me, and Dad flipped onto one of the news stations, which was, of course, interviewing different political and economic pundits about the economy. I am just flat-out sick of this sort of coverage. The host asked if we were in a depression, not just a recession. You can imagine where this went. Doom and Gloom, with one of the commentators saying our economy would hit rock-bottom in 2012.
That number, 2012, scares some people, and I don’t appreciate the commentator using that to further his apparent fear-spreading, Obama-bashing mission. Some people think the world will end in 2012. I have thoughts on this, but others first…
Of course the economy is performing poorly! So much of the former blue collar manufacturing base has been relocated overseas where production costs are cheaper. Without that manufacturing base, no one has money to spend on retail or services, so retail and services fail, and so it goes. Duh.
But, more importantly, things are not going to get any better if no one thinks they can or thinks they will. If we, as a society, collectively hang onto the idea that the economy is crashing, and we can’t do anything about it, that the government should take care of it, and, if the government doesn’t, then we’re just really screwed, that’s the way it will go. You know why? No one will even try to do things differently, or, at least, not enough of us. If no one even tries to do things differently, things remain as they are or worsen.
So, American media, I have a message for you: Shut the Hell up, and stop fear-mongering! (Also, while you’re at it, stop passing off celebrity gossip as “news”!)
Now, about 2012…Some believe that the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world as 2012, as that is where it stops. Many groups of various apocalyptic religious sects have been looking for the end of the world for years. A group of statisticians have analyzed tons of data purported to show the collective unconscious, globally speaking, predicts 2012 as The End.
What if it’s not the end of the world in its entirety? What if the world keeps turning daily, revolving around the sun? What if The End is not the destruction of the planet, but the destruction of life as we know it?
Or, even better, what if the year 2012 is simply as far as the Mayans got in making their calendar before their untimely demise as an organized society? What if apocalyptic scriptures are symbolic and metaphorical, not literal? What if, in the uncertain times we live in, that’s as far as anyone is bothering to even attempt to plan?
I think now we’re seeing a turn to a much less material way of life. It’s out of necessity for most people, as we try to cut corner and tuck away savings, or stretch every dollar left to us because we’ve lost our jobs or houses.
What if that is the point? What if that’s why the economy is crashing? What if it’s to teach us lessons? I have a hard time believing there’s not a reason and attendant lessons in this.
Lessons like we should work to live, not live to work. Lessons like maybe executives should take less pay, and invest what they would have paid–and spent–themselves in the company to which they’ve devoted so much of their lives so they can continue to pay themselves, maybe even reinvent the company while they’re at it. Lessons like maybe banks and creditors shouldn’t make subprime mortgages or lend to those with poor credit history. Lessons like we should not spend beyond our means via creditors to keep up with the Joneses. Lessons like there are things money can’t buy: love, friendship, and fulfillment among them. Lessons like perhaps we don’t need so much extraneous “stuff”, and that most of us can live happily within our means if we drop our attachments to said “stuff.”
I know a lot of people are truly suffering in this. I know people are losing their homes, their basics for living. At the same time, that is making people stand up and take notice of a system that has been going haywire for years upon years. Furthermore, people are trying to invent solutions to the problems. Succeed or fail, at least our leadership is noticing and trying to fix what’s wrong with this giant machine we call The Economy.
As for me, I refuse to let these setbacks get in the way of chasing my dreams.
At probably the scariest time to do so since the Great Depression in the 1930s, I’m gearing up to move out on my own out of my hometown and home state and reinvent my life. My intuition and dreams are daring me to move in spite of the fear, in spite of the seemingly insurmountable obstacles. I may be going to my financial doom, but at least I’ll have tried to do something. I will walk forward with hope and courage, and trust that following my gut instincts, my heart, will lead me where I need to go.
I anticipate that there will be those who disagree, and, should the right sort of person stumble across this, those who will, to use a colloquialism, “rip me a new one.” That’s fine. You’re entitled to your thoughts as I am entitled to mine.