09/19/2013 12:31 pm ET | Updated Nov 19, 2013

Back to Basics

The world has changed dramatically over the last dozen years or so. After 9/11, many people changed their priorities. People seemed to change careers by the masses. There was a mass exodus from the financial industry and many turned to careers where they felt they could help others. Enrollment in nursing schools was booming and there was an unprecedented interested in becoming firefighters. A horrific event appealed to our basic human instinct to be better and to help one another.

When the economy crashed several years later, something else happened. People began, once again, to reexamine their lives and their values. Some liked what they saw more than others, and some used it as a way of getting back to basics. Over time we heard increasing stories of families spending more time at home together because they had less money to spend on nights out. This started to become something of the social norm again.

People seem to be giving a lot more consideration to what is really important in life and thinking less about the extraneous. I think people are starting to understand how important it is to be employed in an economy such as this while acknowledging that family, health and safety are equally important. Finding that balance can certainly be tricky but that seems to be the focus of our efforts these days... and rightfully so.

Chris (aka: Ashton) Kutcher said it best in his speech at the Teen Choice Awards when he said he, "Never had a job in my life that I was better than." He went on to say that, "The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart, and being thoughtful and being generous." More even than his words, I love that he said them to a bunch of teenagers who really need to hear them. It is so important to understand the value of intelligence, kindness and generosity and those lessons need to be learned early on in life. The world is not just about making and spending money. It is about what you contribute to the world and society and how you can give back.

In addition to the world and the workplace changing, we are changing. We, as a society, have evolved tremendously over the last dozen years. Sometimes it is glaringly apparent and sometimes it is hard to notice in the midst of all the chaos, but if you stop for a moment every once in a while you will surely notice. We are changing... fundamentally and for the better.

For more by SidneyAnne Stone, click here.

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