“You take your life into your own hands and what happens? A terrible thing: No one to blame.” — Erica Jong
Ever since the economic tsunami hit in 2008, media pundits and experts announce daily that more flooding is to be expected. Short-term and long-term damages are repeatedly analyzed and calculated. The reality is that we are drowning in trillions of dollars of national debt as the average person has watched the tide rise high enough to wash away years of personal earnings and savings.
The effect of this economic disaster has caused an erosion of confidence and the proliferation of fear — the two enemies of a serene and prosperous life regardless of anyone’s bank statement. When ruled by fear, self-confidence lags and the mindset focuses on lack instead of abundance. As the pundits and experts espouse personal opinions and their educated guesswork to explain this self-imposed tidal wave, we’ve become saturated with distrust and doubts. Higher ground is definitely needed.
During the devastating 2004 Asian tsunami, reportedly the Onge tribe watched the sea recede before the tsunami and they saved themselves by running to higher ground. Using that as a metaphor, perhaps we should do the same in order to survive the economic mess we’re in.
Greed and vagueness, the faulty foundation that helped create this economic tsunami, operates from lower ground. With the courage to assess our personal role in helping to create this crisis and the willingness to change our reckless behavior with money, we step up to higher ground.
Opportunity lies before us in the appearance of an unparalleled global crisis. The United States prides itself in being a world leader. However, in order to be an effective leader, the United States must mature. We are a young nation and it appears we are struggling with our teenage years. Our “entitlement” issues colored with traces of arrogance, self-focus and carelessness helped cause this monetary crisis. However, through the onslaught of difficult times, we have been forced to collectively and individually assess our money patterns.
Most people now think twice before signing mortgage documents without reading and understanding the contract and possible consequences. More and more people are waking up to the fact that easy credit is costly when it becomes a crutch for out-of-control spending or a co-dependent partner for day-to-day living expenses.
Lessons are good — when we learn. Wake-up calls are good — if we can stay awake. New behavior must override past destructive patterns. The corporate world is teetering on the brink of the canyon right now. What will it be — more of the same? Or a new consciousness that thinks beyond selfishly filling its own coffers to the detriment of others?
A shift in consciousness requires the willingness to change. It demands a dedicated vigilance in order to not repeat the old pattern.
History repeats itself only if we fail the lesson. It’s up to us chart a new course, and our success is determined by our willingness to grow up. Maturity begins with acceptance of self-responsibility. Blame and condemnation of others is seen for what it is — wasted energy.
The word crisis comes from the Greek word krisis, which means decide. Our nation is at a turning point. Our destiny lies within our choices. Your decision affects the whole. As you make your choices, the world is watching.