Thoughts on the New Economy

The TowerThe Tower is a suitable tarot card to describe the Great Recession.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  The Tower as an opportunity to tear away what no longer serves.  That which is built on a faulty foundation can no longer stand.

Our personal beliefs about money and value are often built on faulty foundations.  Many times those beliefs came from our parents and grandparents, some of whom survived the Great Depression.  Our parents taught us to trust the system that worked for them.  When that system failed us, we had nothing left to trust.  Our beliefs made us feel we had done something wrong.

When the financial meltdown first occurred, there was some press buzz that psychics were making a killing.  The theory was that we were profiting mightily by offering advice and predictions on financial matters.

The news media made it sound as if people were so very desperate that they were, as a very last resort, talking with – (OMG) psychics.

The reality is that most working psychics had been spending the past ten years questioning whether our clients could afford the new homes they were insisting on buying.  Beyond that, many successful businesses, large and small, have always used psychics as part of their team. 

Now, as difficult times continue, I am seeing a true trend at my table.

What I see are good people in their middle years who are really suffering.  Many times they are caring for elderly parents, and still taking financial responsibility for their adult children.  What is causing them to suffer, though, is not so much the hard work or the lean times.  What causes them to suffer is the disparity between their beliefs of what should be, and what actually is.

We believed that by the time we were this age, we would be more stable financially.

We believed that if we were smart, we would be financially stable.  If we are not stable, we must not be smart.

Most importantly, we believed that our bank account was the measure of our value and our success as people.

We believed these things because we were taught to believe these things.  In the new economy, these beliefs are false and harmful.

Martin Luther King, Jr, wanted us to be judged by the content of our character, rather than the color of our skin.  We judge ourselves, and each other, by the content of our bank account, rather than the content of our character.

To survive in this new economy, we need to value something more, something better.

Today, our greatest capital may be our creativity, our flexibility, our ability to function in community, and our ability to work hard.  We need to think outside the box to create individual solutions.  We need to celebrate what we have, versus mourn what we no longer have.  We need to judge our value in human terms, rather than dollars and cents.

Those who can do this hold true wealth.

Those who can’t feel like losers with empty bank accounts, or stand, indignant, feeling entitled to what they no longer have.

There are those who will share the little they have with those who have less.  And there are those who will steal, sure that their need outweighs the needs of others.

The new economy offers the opportunity to let go of old values, and old beliefs, and redefine success.

We are in charge of whatever comes next.