Saturday, March 7, 2009

Roller Coaster

So many experts are commenting on and speculating about the economy and I always get a giggle out of it. I consider myself to be very lower-middle class. And I believe that it's coming to the point that middle and lower class are almost the same thing. The "upper" class experts are telling us where the economy is going. The thing they don't realize is we are all on this roller coaster together. The lower and middle class are in the front cars of this train. If you have ever ridden on a roller coaster and were in the front car, you can try and guess when you are at the top of the hill but you can't really see it. All you can see is the bright sky with nothing in front of you. There is always that slight pause and then the bottom drops out. You go screaming down the hill. Sometimes with your eyes open happily and sometimes squeezing them shut until they hurt and you are praying for it to end. What the "upper" class experts don't realize is, they are in the last car. They are going to follow us, they have no choice. So often the upper class likes to disassociate themselves from us. We are the "lesser thans". They turn their noses up at us and continue with their upper class friends in their pretty homes. And I'm not trying to start a fight or upset anyone but I've worked and cleaned for many of them. I know I'm not as valued as they are. But we are all tied in together and they will follow us down. And probably a lot of their assets will too.
There are so many models and projections the experts are using to try and figure out when this ride will once again be on the upswing. But the experts are forgetting one thing, this is more about human emotions and fear then it is about calculating numbers. The poor folks in the front cars are already at the bottom of the hill. We are struggling and scrimping. The rich are now starting the slide down and are starting to panic. I believe we are going to be at the bottom for quite a long time. And I believe this because us poor folks got the lesson first and won't soon forget. And we are going to continue to scrimp and save. We do this because we don't have the same options as say someone buying $2000 trash cans for their office. (Thain's brothers are our family Dr., strange world!) Our pennies are more valuable to us then to them. If someone walked up and handed you a $1, would it have as much value as the dollar you dug a ditch for? We are going to continue to save and be scared and the rich will be joining us soon in these believes. I believe the economy will pick up but it will be transformed into something different. Just as the people of the depression were changed into savers and fueled by fear. This will change us and impact how we look at money and our own personal finances.
I don't believe this will be an end to civilization as we know it but its a new beginning. We are like the Phoenix. We will be born from the ashes. But we will be born into something slightly different. More cautious and maybe with more compassion for people suffering. Maybe we will all be more "equal" after this. If we don't have money, what do we have? Each other.
I never thought I would say this but maybe it is a little better to be one of the "lesser thans". We know hard times and we know they end. We know how to make do with very little. We will be the first to adjust out of necessity. The first to lend a hand. And we have learned to be more resourceful. We don't have as much to lose but we also know how to fight to survive. We are the scrappers of our society. And I think that will be the only way to pull through.
Change is scary especially when you don't know when it's your turn to fly down the hill. But believing in yourself and not letting go of your will to persevere will help you endure the ride. We all just need to remember that when the ride is the most scary, it's ok to hold the hand of the rider next to you.
Thanks for Reading,

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