"Big bottom drives me out of my mind, how can I leave that behind..."
Ok, I admit I am re-interpreting Spinal Tap's song but desperate times calls for desperate measures.
The bottom, the abyss, dark, harrowing, uncertain, lonely. The good news, if there is any, is that you are not alone there. There are now millions of Americans in the hole with you, scared, blind, looking up toward whatever light might appear.
Yes, a rescue was needed, certainly for the people who lost their savings, having salt poured in their wounds while the CEOs that caused it were getting salt scrubs and yes, even to keep the financial markets from imploding. But I think we need to examine the bottom a little more rather than trying so hard to get away from it.
What is the bottom? Rock bottom they call it. Where you can dig no more. Where you have to look at how you got there. Where can we change? Barack Obama talks about change. So did Jung. He said, "Only that which changes, remains true."
The American dream is NOT that everyone is entitled to credit based on no ability to pay it back. It is based on the idea that anyone can try, to be free from persecution, and can, if they work hard, build a life. That is the dream. Not that you get a new flat screen because you want it and can get it for nothing now and nothing for a couple of years. What we are learning is that EVERYONE has to pay. It seems that only the fat cats are not paying but I think even the fattest cat is still afraid of the smallest, hungriest, scrawniest, group of cats. Fat cats are slow, lethargic, sleepy.
When people in the public eye crash and burn from the excesses of their addictions people snicker and love that these mighty (ego swollen, entitled, out-of-step with reality types) have fallen.
What we can learn from their bottom is that the recovery they seek, we all are seeking. Recovery. A word we now ALL use daily. We are all addicts. Consumerism is an addiction.
The Serenity Prayer that many of us start to employ does help.
Grant me serenity to accept things I cannot change (my biology, other people, the world economic markets, our government).
Courage to change the things I can (our government, how we can lend a hand and support those who need help, who didn't get the breaks we did, how we spend, protesting against greed, corruption, racism disguised as patriotism, ourselves: weight, abusive behaviors, addiction to spending and to foreign oil, selfishness).
Wisdom to know the difference.
When the bottom starts to rise, and it WILL, what will we do differently?
Gas is now at $77.70 a barrel. Will lower gas prices make you jump in your SUV or will you still carpool with your co-workers as you have been forced to during this crisis.
Will you rip up your credit cards?
Will you demand more efficient, renewable power sources?
Will you help your local economy? Support local businesses. Do your research on who is really working, at a corporate level on sustainability and growth. Today, in the paper they talk of a merger between GM and Chrysler. The question needs to be asked, are they merging the old, bad, guzzling ideas OR are they joining to embrace the boom that will follow with expansive change, and innovation... America's brightest doing their best?
Will you change? Will you change so your children will be raised around change, so they won't be afraid of it?
Will you vote for change?
The future is green
The future is change.
The future is now, right this second.
The bottom is here. We are all in this together.