Saturday, August 14, 2010
Making the Effort
" it isn't if you win or lose, it's how you play the game which counts"?
I do not agree with this. Just a quick review of the days headlines will smack you upside the head with a reality check. Right, lots of examples of how you can play by the rules and lose everything while the bad guys get paid bonuses to steal your future. Then of course we can get totally stressed and confused with the scarey notions of staving off de-flation by forcing in-flation. Right.
Sadly, we did this to ourselves by returning to power those who have forgotten the people they are elected to serve. I know, Pollyanna again.
In a recent conversation a wise friend mentioned her viewpoint about how this November is critical to our nations survival. Wiseone believes if Americans do not oust incumbents then we are doomed. A clean sweep is my idea of marvelous but not all agree with me. And I get her point, if daily headlines are insufficient to move voters off their sofas? What then can we expect.
I talked with another friend asking if our nation unravels where would he go? The response was deliberately vague leading me to wonder if he does indeed have a spot picked out. Or purchased?
What was interesting to me is this. Five years ago had I asked this question I would have been laughed out of acceptance. Now, the question is never a surprise and answers are cagey. " Not sure, you"? or
" my decision is as unstable as the Euro". Does this mean the relocation isn't European or is it simply meant to divert the conversation?
On a recent longish drive I gave some thought to: if this could happen how?
How much money could be realized from liquidating all assets and would it be enough to live elsewhere to my end? Unknown. And, where is better? Can I resolve to live in a dirt floor hut reeking of bug spray and draped in netting to prevent malaria?
Some images are not funny. At the top of the cartoon dollar do you see what it says?
"Federal Reserve Note". Since we have no Federal Reserves will newly printed paper money say at the top , " Federal Debt Certificate"? Is this our reality? Years ago I remember my grandmother having a fit about money. She ranted about the time when the government switched from " Silver Certificates" to "Federal Reserve Note". Her story was the government gave citizens a deadline for exchanging their old silver certificates for the notes. She hotly contested this because one was a guarantee of value backed by silver, the other "just a damn lie". She defined this time as a government take over of private wealth and she hated those notes. She saved a bunch of silver cerificates and later in life, when her income was shrinking while expenses were increasing she took her silver certificates out of storage to cash then in at a bank. Where they told her they were expired and of no value any more. "Nonsensical!" she huffed, "this is guaranteed by the United States government and I want the full value of these from the date of issue". Her demands went unmet and her wrath at the government unrelenting. Did I learn the lesson I should have learned from this oft told family story? Maybe. Or not.
What I am certain of is my inability to grasp the complexities of today's shifting monetary games. I am equally certain I should make the effort. So this morning I fired up the computer and set out to learn more. I read quite a bit, studied charts and graphs, visited the economic dictionary, etc. What I learned is questionable. What I earned was a masive headache. I headed outdooors for an exercise cure .
Three hours later, at 100% personal humidity, I headed indoors for a shower and some lunch. I turned on the flat screen for diversion and to my surprise rapidly became immersed in the story of Temple Grandin. It is a wonderful story. The acting of both Clare Danes and Julia Ormand were brilliant. Temple is the daughter of a Harvard graduate who refused to have her then 4 year old daughter institutionalized for what was called " Infantile Schizophrenia" and is now called "Autism". Temple has a PhD, teaches, writes, revolutionized an industry. She accomplished amazing things at amazing odds.
Watching this movie made me aware of how comfortable we get with the known, the perfected, the understood and how stressed we feel when we are outside that comfort. Like my research of things monetary this morning. But what if every aspect of life was outside your comfort zone? Even speaking or touching? And yet, isn't it astonishing what we ask of those who are " different but not less"? Do we ask as much from those who are not different? Or ourselves? Not often.
So now I have said to myself, " Okay Fishy, let's say you are autistic about Math , Money, Economics. That you have spent your entire adult life being right brained which you have tried to balance by purchasing left brain time or skills from others. Too bad, it is now time to go thru that door and learn what defeats you, learn that which busts your head with pain, learn to not be left brain lazy and to make the effort".
Because it is about who wins and who loses and why.