This morning the world markets are reacting with panic. As the United States goes, so goes the world, it seems. Yes, things look grim for investments and banking. A total freeze of funds seems imminent. No liquidity equals no loans, putting the economy into a stand still.
I am not a huge investor, but my retirement fund has surely taken a hit! The trickle down effect is what worries me most: will there be a run on banks? Will food and housing become even more expensive and scarce? And, on a personal note, will my lender call my loan due in full at the end of the 5 year term, or will I still be able to roll it over as promised at the outset, when the economy was still thriving? On top of that, real estate taxes are due and I am tapped out! Where will that money come from? Out of our minimal savings, I suppose.
And yet, in spite of all of that, I feel strangely optimistic. It seems clear that an economy built on a house of cards would eventually fall. It was overdue for a correction of some sort. I have been reading articles for years that predicted this; what were the investors reading? It makes me wonder why everyone seems so surprised, the same way people seemed surprised about the World Trade Center attacks. The Reader's Digest had an article years before claiming that a second attack was inevitable giving the failure of the first one to bring down the towers. If the Reader's Digest can get it right, why can't our intelligence agencies. Hmm...again, I wonder about who reads what and who knows what. Is anybody watching? Maybe that is the scariest part. They're watching, but doing little, or so it sometimes seems.
And yet, while our financial future seems grim, the sun still shines, offering its warm and comforting rays. Where there's life, there's hope. The world goes on, albeit differently. Perhaps we are called to live our lives more simply, worrying more about each other and our living planet earth than we do about ourselves. Nothing brings people together like hard times. As Eastern spirituality understands, crisis does, in fact, bring opportunity. We are given the opportunity to do things differently, to correct the mis-steps of our past. Creative ideas will bring solutions. Individualism and greed may have to give way to a sense of sacrificing on behalf of the community. Are we up to the task? I hope so; I believe that we can get through these times by working together.