Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Reasons for hope

Well, the gloom and doom is thick and heavy these days.  Let's see, last week our nation lost 100,000 jobs. China is reporting cases of bird flu in humans. Kentucky is in the deep freeze.   There are so many cases of corruption and disconnect from reality from business leaders; it would be comical, if it weren't so infuriating. With promises of great change there is still more of the same.  Change takes time. Change is hard. There is hope in change. This is what I tell myself.

I think it is terrible that we are going through this contraction in our economy.  Many folks have lost their homes, jobs.  Many communities have been destroyed with the deluge of foreclosures. Many local governments are struggling with fewer dollars.  Even for those that still have jobs and homes, the sense of security that comes with having employment and housing are not as secure as we once thought.

I've read many commentaries that suggest that the change we are going through will make us a poorer nation. We are all going to have to get accustomed to working harder, having less. Use it up, wear it out, make do, do without. But  (there is always a but) when we come out on the other side of this financial disaster; this is my hope, we are wiser, frugal and in tune with what is really important. And, we understand the collective responsibility we have to our community.

Think about it this way.  Median household incomes have not risen with the pace of inflation. Higher education, healthcare, and housing had inflated faster than we were able to pay.  We put infants, weeks old, in daycare.  We stopped eating dinner with our children. We spent beyond our means in order to have the new widescreen and Hummer. We are a nation of obese people who do not know that baby carrots are pulled out of the ground as mature, but not pretty, picture perfect orange roots and cut down to size. We sold our souls to Walmart instead of nurturing our own communities. Are you going to miss any of this?  Not me.

So this is my hope.  That we get real.  That we realign our thinking to what is really important. Family, community, knowing what is enough. It is going to be painful. Every change is. But (there is always a but) we need to learn this.  We face challenges greater than a deep recession.  The specters of climate change and peak oil are popping their heads over the horizon.  If we can get local, learn how to grow our own food, have strong families and communities we can mitigate the hardships.  Simple enough.


English Animist said...

Great post and I definitely echo your hopes. Coming out the other side of this could put our world back on track. I just hope we don't do too much kicking and screaming to get through it. I actually look forward to a different way of life even though I am at the very beginning of planning for it and have a long way to go. I am optimistic that the world can be a better place for us all.

Pat aka Posh said...

I agree with everything you said.. but I have a feeling there's going to be a lot of younger people that are going to find it very hard to cope with it all.. crime is on the rise.. for the first time since we moved here, I've been keeping my doors locked through out the day even when my husband and daughter are home... and I refuse to answer the door unless I know the person knocking.
A lot of people are applying for gun permits and I'm considering loading one of ours and keeping it somewhere with in reach. it's not that anything bad has happened in my neighborhood but its all we hear about on the local news and some of the area's that have had those crimes has been upper class neighborhoods and usually by young guys that think the world owes them a living.
I figure this is going to be an interesting year.

Wendy said...

That is my hope, as well ;).

Kathie said...

I too have hope that this is a signaling a giant change in social consciousness. I go back and forth, but generally my optimisim wins out.

Kathy said...

Oh, I have much to say on this very subject, but since I mirror your thoughts, more than not, I won't get going. (hehe)

I try to keep my mind positive and my outlook upbeat.

Hope. It's a word, a feeling that I am not willing to give up.

Not yet. Not ever.

Kathy said...

I must ask ...

What ever happend to posters, signs, picketing? Has the Internet taken away our ability to get out IN FRONT of the public and ... you know ... STAND UP.

~ Lor said...

I couldn't agree with you more. If we all learn these valuable lessons, I think we'll end up being in a simpler, happy place without even realizing this is what we've been missing.