The Good News… and The Bad News

Today’s post is a departure.  It’s the time of Easter, of Passover, of new beginnings.

We’re not talking about Bush & Co. and the disaster they’ve left behind, nor even the potential for change existing under the new Obama administration.

Today, it’s personal.

The good news for me, your humble narrator, is that there are signs of life in this moribund econo-psycho-socio crisis, and I now have time to undertake some of the projects I’ve been dying to get to: rewriting some of my literary projects, doing a crash course on Internet marketing, expanding the efforts devoted to my diet and exercise regime, plotting new courses in my life and, significantly, moving into the home we purchased 10 days ago.

The bad news is that five days ago, I became a statistic.  It may thrill some of the neo-cons and dittoheads out there, but I became disemployed from my job.  I won’t miss the job so much – working for a non-profit consulting company that should be poised to ride the green wave of environmentally-friendly technology, but is now struggling – but I will miss some of the people I worked with, and the regular paycheck.  I had come to hate my dependence on a job where my contributions, once valued, were now regularly ignored and unappreciated, though I was hardly alone.  Valuable people on all levels of the company had left,  and everyone below the executive level was polishing up their resume, making sure the exit door was within sight.  Morale was lower than a sea slug’s belly, and I saw the sharp glint of paranoia in the eyes of other co-workers, many of whom are now having to accept reduced hours to keep their jobs.  I think this transition may be harder on them: my coast is clear, my path is open.  Their future is still uncertain.

So now, I have become a victim of the crimes and neglect left in the wake of the conservative crime spree that began with Reagan and continued with brief moderations through the early part of this year.  The echoes and aftershocks of that spree are rippling their way around the world and I, at this late date, got swamped.  Greed, stupidity and a lack of leadership from the highest level down to the modest plane of my life exacted their toll.

At a time when I should be happier than a pig in sh-t, moving into a beautiful new home with my wife and child, I now have to contend with the anxiety of seeking a new job in the worst job market in my lifetime, with greater responsibility and financial obligation of my entire life.  Some will say I made a bad choice, making such a purchase in this market; but I believe I’ll get through this and we’ll enjoy that house for years to come.  In more flush times, I could never have afforded it.  In this market, with our combined income, it was a stretch, a calculated risk.  A man who is unwilling to take a chance, a calculated risk, is destined to live a life of mediocrity and failure.   I’ll love seeing my daughter grow up there.  And one way or another, we will survive this crisis.

One thing that both encourages me individually and angers me personally is that there are millions of people less fortunate than I am, living in places with little or no opportunity, with no societal and governmental safety nets, who will literally be crushed by this economic disaster.  The problems started here in the US, and the solutions will start here, too.

Thomas Franks in his book The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule, notes that conservative ideologs point to common sense rules and values of thrift and hard work in a free and unregulated market as the solution, that liberal tax and spend policies and regulation will kill the economy.   That seems to ignore the fact of the past eight years, when the free market policies and deregulation unleashed a tidal wave of greed-driven irrational exuberance that finally crashed on the shores of reality, burying millions of people around the world, while sending the architects of disaster scuttling off to their mansions with gold-plated severance plans.  They also seem to ignore the common political and economic underpinnings shared by The Great Depression and our current economic downturn in terms of deregulation, irregularities and insanity in the investment market, and the stink of greed.  To them, it was just the betrayal of the conservative leaders who were corrupted by Washington and turned their backs on true values.

What they do is make excuses why their vaunted values and systems fail again and again.  What they cannot do is to point to any civilized democracy where their values are institutionalized.  It doesn’t exist.  And it never will.

As I said in a previous post, ingesting poison or submitting oneself to violent electric shock are not things a sane person undertakes in normal circumstances.  I believe our President and his team, while they have made mistakes feeling their way through this uncharted territory, are doing the things that MUST be undertaken in order to resurrect the country, economically and spiritually.   Killing the cancers and shocking the economy back to life with extreme measures that may defy common sense are absolutely necessary.  Creating new resources, calling upon Americans of all stripes to sacrifice and to give and to do good is the order of the day.

For myself, I’m going to take the time while I can to get to things long overlooked and neglected.  I’m going to invest time and precious resources in myself.  I’m going to establish myself and my family in our new home, and I’m going to remake my life.

An attitude of gratitude is a key factor in a successful life.

I am grateful to be an American in a time of great possibility.

I’m grateful I was able to oblige myself of two degrees, through hard work – academic and professional – and with the support of scholarship, grant and loan programs that afforded me the opportunity to get a good education.

I’m grateful that I was able, through my efforts and the help of friends and family, to put aside a financial cushion that will help buoy my family through a difficult time.

I’m grateful for a wife and children who inspire me to greater efforts every day, and for friends who believe in and support me.

I’m grateful for well-wishers who lend their support in many ways.

I’m grateful to the many people who have taken to heart the message of this blog – keep your eye on the future, but don’t leave the messes of the past unresolved or the perpetrators unpunished and free to work their evil on us again.

And I’m grateful for a Higher Power of my own choice who will guide me in a path of my choosing to a positive and rewarding outcome as I move on to a new chapter in my life.

As they say in the elite British special forces, the SAS, “Who dares, wins.”

It’s a time to be daring, but with the greater good in mind.

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