For the past week, we’ve been inundated with various economic doomsday predictions due to the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debacles. We’ve yet to see the potential depth of the abyss. Oh, we can see the hole in the earth, we just don’t yet have a light beam strong enough to see absolute bottom.
And so come the questions:
- What will it take to fix this mess?
- Do we have the ability to fix it?
- How bad is this, really? No, really.
As Americans, this is where we look for that instant solution, that panacea. “Yeah, yeah, alright, let’s get on with it already! I’ve got stuff to do and places to go!”
Only this one is going to be felt. This isn’t a situation for a band-aid. We’re talking a body cast and full traction, folks. We will feel this impact, potentially, for years to come. And that’s only if we do this the right way… the HARD way. But this is not necessarily a bad thing completely. In point of fact, it’s actually an opportunity for us to “right” this ship we’re on. Let me explain.
Here are a couple of points not open to debate:
- We are not going to make it through this economic event unscathed. The only question is how badly will we each be affected?
- Character: You either have it, or you don’t. There’s no way through this kind of event without it. Those without character will stick out like Barack Obama at aToastmaster’s meeting without his teleprompter.
- The Good News: This is the kind of event that defines our character, that lets us show who we really are. And those who do NOT havecharacter will have the chance to develop it.
Sadly, we know there will be people in our society who won’t be able to deal with the changes we’re likely to see. Some may use the current situation as an excuse to resort to violence, rioting (depending on how bad things get), and perhaps worse.
Stay with me for a moment. Some five years ago, I lost just about everything I owned. I was out of work for nearly a year except for what I was able to scrape together with my photography and my writing. There were times when I felt I wouldn’t make it. But, like Peter Gabriel’s inspirational song, “Don’t Give Up,” I quickly discovered I had friends to encourage me when times got rough. And ROUGH it got…
“in this proud land we grew up strong
we were wanted all along
I was taught to fight, taught to win
I never thought I could fail…”
Just when things seemed to be hopeless, I had that moment of clearness some speak of. It no longer became a question of how long my situation would last. The answer was, “Only as long as you let it.”
It wasn’t easy, but I sucked it up and some two years later when I made it back on my feet financially, I looked back and realized how much of my misfortune turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I was forced to make changes to my lifestyle that ultimately made sense and helped me to “right my own ship.” It made me realize how insignificant so many things I used to worry about were. In fact, I felt like I had climbed Mt. Everest. So will you. And when you reach the mountain top, just know it was character that brought you to the summit.
Sometimes it’s good to be forced back to discovering the basics about yourself and what you are made of. That’s what happened to those Americans who went through the depression. It built the kind of character needed by those who brought us through World War II victoriously.
It was the dream of those who got us through that war to create a world where we would never have to face the kinds of trials they did. And they were successful in doing that for some 60 plus years. Now it’s OUR TURN to do the same for the next generations. My question to you is blunt and simple: DO YOU HAVE THE CHARACTER TO MOVE FORWARD? Think carefully, because the answer to that question will determine what kind of country we leave for our children and their children… or whether we leave behind a country at all.