Archive for the ‘economic crisis’ Tag

Depression

In my business networking group, several members have been proclaiming that they refuse to participate in the economic troubles.  While such a bold statement may be a bit foolhardy (much of the worst of it has not hit us – yet – in the South, but it’s likely to before a year is out), you have to admire their conviction, and the passion behind the statement is to be taken very seriously.

Economic depression results from psychic depression.  And depression is the very soul of evil, the very opposite of life.  Somehow, we have turned from affirmation to denial, we have sunk perilously close to the quicksand of depression, we have forgotten how to trust.  The hard part is, even though we have lost our faith because those we trusted have proven to be untrustworthy, we are challenged to regain it.  We must be trustworthy ourselves, and we must also trust; it is the only way to emerge from this trouble.

Some of you may know what personal depression is, and if so, you understand this.  You understand the extreme danger in letting depression have its way.  You know that while the world may try its hardest to shake your convictions, you must persevere in the belief that your dreams can be realized.  The alternative is simply not an option.

Let’s spend the weekend immersed in our dreams, specifying and tailoring them to the finest detail, savoring the promise of faith and disallowing the evil of depression.

Water and wealth

The news today says 75% of Americans are depressed, stressed, and angry.  Money bubbles are bursting everywhere and we’re panicking like the sheep we are.  We feel victimized, and are hot to pinpoint the culprit, the thief who caused this horrific injustice. 

Yet modern psychology knows that we are never victims without consenting to it.  We are always in control of our reactions, and while we can’t change others, we can always modify our responses.  Rather than copping the attitude of victims at this point, we could study the situation for ways we’ve perpetuated the crisis and ways we can live and work with greater awareness in the future.

Consider water.  I was reading an article yesterday about the dire lack of potable water in many of the poorest areas of our globe, and it occurred to me that we can profitably compare water and money.

Though most of us pay for the water we use, it’s one of those things that is “too cheap to matter, though not too cheap to meter.”  We take clean and plentiful water for granted.  In Southeast Asia and Africa, though, millions die annually from drinking and bathing in toxic water because the infrastructure to provide decent sanitation is nonexistent.  And theorists claim that the day will come when there is not enough water for our exploded population, when the distribution of water will wield much greater power than that of gasoline today.

So it makes sense to respect water, and to conserve it at every opportunity.  It also makes sense to value the world’s water supply in even greater measure than we value money.  If we persist with this thought only a little further, we begin to see that respect and conservation of natural resources is the true source of lasting wealth.  Wealth, like clean water, should be equally available to all.  But not wealth that’s grounded in money; I’m talking about a new definition of wealth.  We need to leave the wealth of materialism behind and mature into a species that understands wealth as profound appreciation for creation and the natural gifts of the Earth.

Wood and plastic

Consider wood and plastic.  Certainly plastic is here to stay, and it contributes immensely to the ease of our lives.  But in the majority of instances, something made of plastic lacks the attraction it would have if made of wood.  Organic, as we are, wood is something we know and trust and relate to with respect and admiration.  Plastic is dead, shiny but lifeless, cold, brittle.  Wood is the real thing, plastic a mere imitation.

So much of our world has become plastic, and the metaphor extends to the field of commerce where we have morphed organic realities into their plastic counterparts.  Investments with no real value, expectations with no foundation in experience, bailouts of the market economy by the government – which is supposedly outside the marketplace – suggesting that the market economy can’t adequately take care of our needs anymore. 

We have a hard time relating to all this plastic;  it’s just not in our nature.  We also have limited creative abilities, and limited courage, and can’t imagine how we could combat this well-entrenched plastic inundation.  My suggestion today is to consider the contrasts between wood and plastic, and henceforth, choose wood as much as possible.

Seek the human, the organic, the flexible, the choice that moves and lives.  Reject the lifeless, the contrived, the other choice that is cheap and easy but inhuman.  There’s a time and place for plastic, certainly, but we have overdone it and now need to restore our connection to authenticity.

The dictionary meanings of ‘authenticity’ begin with synonyms such as ‘authoritative’ and ‘trustworthy.’  It’s akin to a Greek word meaning ‘to accomplish,’ and a Sanskrit word that means ‘he gains.’  The definitions like ‘genuine’ and ‘bona fide’ come later in the dictionary entry.  So authentic first means reliable, and secondly it means real.  Interesting distinction. 

Shall we focus on authenticity for a while, and let the artificial lie?  Shall we align with our humanity and put aside cheap imitations, so that we can again locate sure footing?  More government loans and shifing tactics announced in today’s news suggest that few are ready to tighten their belts, prefering to go along with smoke and mirrors.  But for you and me, dear readers, the lure of authenticity looms large these days, and I believe we’ll do well at this point to seek the wooden alternative.