Friday, October 10, 2008

Volatile economics

The whole world seems to be in economic upheaval. Stock markets are crashing, and people are panicking. In this seemingly dark and desperate moment, I'd like to offer some words of hope: it will end. None of this will last forever. Just like times of economic prosperity aren't forever, neither are times of hardship. Not only have we seen all of this before (stock markets crashed in the 1980s, 1920s, and 1880s, just to name a few), but we will see it again. So settle in and enjoy--or at least tolerate--the ride.

The economy is cyclical. It always has been, and always will be. We tend to lose sight of that (both when we're prosperous--thinking that the prosperity will last forever--and when we're suffering--thinking that there's no end to the torture), and I think that's to our detriment. If we just keep in mind that this tremendous down-swing will end, plateau, and eventually turn into an upswing again, we'll be much better off. Our peace of mind will soar, and our panic will disappear.

The economic suckiness will last for a while. Eventually it will level off. And then, miraculously, it will start to boom again. Just hold onto that. Keep holding on to the hope, because without hope, the desperation can be overwhelming. But with hope, the panic fades, becoming contentment.

And a note on our human frailties: even King Solomon, widely regarded as the wisest man who ever lived (excepting Jesus, of course!), screwed up and behaved foolishly. So we're in good company! (Don't believe me? Read about how Solomon did stupid stuff, too.)

Sometimes life is really hard. And sometimes it's really awesome. If life seems hard right now, just wait. It means that there's some awesome coming!

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