Jun 15, 2011

Say Yes to the Stress

dear ask a punk - Your letter last week hit on something I think a lot of us are going through, but I think it was a bit simplistic. The paycheck was only one of the things I lost when I lost my job. I lost a part of my identity, my status in the community and a certain amount of status in my own home. I don't see a lot of that coming back any time soon either. So this time around people aren't just forced to find new jobs, they're forced to redefine themselves and also, in most cases, set the bar a little lower for their hopes and dreams. I think our citizens needed a reality check and now we've gotten it, the question is: What's next? - Simplified

Dear Simplified

What's next? If I really had the answer to that, I would be doing much better myself. I don't disagree with you though, one of the problems with our previously mentioned 'consumer culture' is that all those credit cards and 'easy money' allowed a lot of people to avoid the reality of their economic situation by spending more than they had and/or being able to get a home loan that any reasonably sane person could see was a bad idea.

What's next could be an awakening bordering on a new Renaissance or it could be a complete collapse of the current system complete with blood in the streets and neighborhood gun battles over clean water... I think it is likely that what's really next will fall somewhere in the middle of those two extremes, at least I hope so... but I am doing a bit of stockpiling of water purification tablets, solar rechargers, ...and bullets.

As far as your situation goes, I can understand how that loss of 'status' can affect people, myself included. But the truth is, estimations of our self-worth should be based on something deeper than how big a stack of green pieces of paper we can accumulate. It gets back to basic needs. We Americans feel like $100/month cable TV is a basic need, but tell that to the 1 billion+ people on the planet who have to spend 70% of their day just finding and hauling that day's drinking water.

We need to wake up, and once we do, we need to do something more than complain about being woken up from our unsustainable dream(s.) I'm not saying all this uncertainty and change isn't scary (let me tell you about my currently monumental insomnia problem) but it is better to embrace the new, weird future than complain about the lost golden mirage of a past.

I have been ranting on this a lot lately, haven't I ??

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