Whether purposeful or not, there are
times when a large, ominous, black
cloud descends over our lives. Try as
we might there simply seems to be no
way to rid ourselves of the doom and
gloom. While this may happen to us
individually, the older I get the more
I truly believe that it also happens to
all of us collectively. I've slowly come
to realize that this phenomena is not
random but actually quite cyclical. It
seems that we all go through good and
bad times en masse. Think Dark Ages...
Faster than you think
The transition from light to darkness
can be quite subtle. One can't possibly
know what people were thinking as a
seemingly silly man gained power in
post WWI Germany. After watching
Monument Men, I'm reminded of just
how evil that man truly was and how
his warped thoughts quickly redefined
a country's values, morals, and laws.
The resulting terror created a period
of great darkness across our world.
At times the odds seemed against us
and yet light overcame the darkness.
If you step back and look at our current
economy, we're living in the midst of a
modern equivalent of the historic Great
Depression. First 9/11 then the crash of
2008 traumatized us all and shifted our
perspective. As the child of depression
era parents, I know that those truly dark
years impacted their values, opinions,
and perspectives go-forward. So, why
wouldn't the same hold true for us and
therefore the next generation? Abused
and confused by these traumatic events
we've all lost some mojo in the process.
You see, it's just not easy any more.
Gone are the days when money was
plentiful and interest paid big bucks.
Post the real estate crash your home
was worth less than your mortgage.
If they could afford to, many opted
to wait it out. Those out of a job lost
everything. Others bit the bullet and
moved on. No matter the outcome,
losing money changed their lives.
Most of our children grew up in a world
of immediate gratification. For a time we
all lived a life that was not sustainable.
Our drive for more ended in less when
suddenly the world changed. Sadly, so
did their chance at a comparable future.
In the new world order, nothing is ever
handed to you. Now adults, our kids
must work hard and yet may not ever
gain momentum. Challenged by such
insurmountable odds, many give up.
How many "adults" do you know who
still live at home with their parents?
As my generation now faces retirement,
we're even more scared than our children.
Knowing that chances are I'll live longer,
how will I pay my bills when I'm over a
hundred? Working and living in a down
sized world, we could lose everything in
a heartbeat. Age and wisdom no longer
seem to be valued. Instead inexpensive,
smart "kids" are standing in line to take
your job. Given so many of us are quite
miserable, what better motivation to stop
and figure out what might make us happy
before "they" make the decision for us?!
Let the sun shine...
The fact is that the lives most of us led
may have led us nowhere. Rather than
Kool Ade, that's the bitter pill we must
line up and swallow. In the end we all
need something to shift us from apathy
to action. Given we've already lived
through dramatic change, it's time to
refocus on happiness. The bravest of
us will go and do things we've only
dreamed of. What matters most is the
will and desire to change. As this new
dawn rises, the sun will shine and the
dark clouds will fade and disappear.