Good Night Newton
Quite simply, the time has come to realize that the world will never be the same again. The markets will never hold the same sense of security they once did, when we piled our retirement savings into them without a second thought. Even our own homes represent fear for us now–that they could be repossessed on such a massive scale, cold-heartedly and without the blink of an eye. Because those that worked for the mortgage company themselves faced the heartless voice of their creditors over the phone, and had no choice but to pull the same crap on you.
Everybody panicked – let’s get that straight. This last recession showed the worst of us. Millionaires were scrounging to make ends meet, not paying their employees and backing out of contracts. Landlords began evicting people far more quickly than ever before, because they were paranoid that it was the only way to keep their investment going. Distrust was rampant. The huge fluctuations on the stock exchanges were the direct result of people trading without a care in the world for anybody else, just trying to get out as much money as they could from the "casino" Wall Street seemed to become.
Friends turned on one another. Couples divorced. Let’s not sugar coat things here. There were some heart-warming stories, yes, but there were far more devastating tales of human selfishness and insecurity. The story of this recession will no doubt be rewritten as an example of the American spirit persevering, but such is not the case. The recession got worse and worse with every bad decision – companies firing workers instead of sacrificing profits or simply lowering wages temporarily, families abandoning local businesses for cheaper discount goods, politicians selling out to interest groups in order to try and save their hides. It was the end of the Newtonian era of treating corporations like giant machines and every employee and consumer associated with them as cogs in the wheels. The machines ground to a halt, and there is no restarting them – ever again. The jobs represented by them are gone forever to third world countries starting their own industrial revolutions. The companies that caused this mess are being forced to transform by new technologies and rapidly advancing manufacturing techniques.
We are at a precipice, and there are only two choices. Stay where we are, get bitter and annoyed with the world and look for somebody to blame, or treat this recession like the birth pang of a new world that it is. There is a lot of anger out there, most of it being entirely wasted on protest rallies and letter writing campaigns. This is because anger is always a waste. The world has been thrown from the nest of Newton, where we were fed from the mouths of plutocratic industrialists and struggled with basic issues of equality, down onto the ground of the real world. The place where we have to cooperate, and where no company is too big to fail.
The only way forward is to recognize that we all had a part in this recession, just as we all have a hand in this recovery. Blame will, to conjure a little bit of Yogi Berra, kill this economy dead. The angst of being let down by the economy that we thought would just go on forever without having to be supervised by we the people must pass. We will never go back to the way things were... because we are headed somewhere better. For after we apologize to one another, we will get to talking... and get to thinking, as we always do... and what comes next, is more than at any other time in the history of the world, up to you!
For more on this topic read God Goes to Work written by Tom Zender and available online and at bookstore everywhere. This timely book explains how successful individuals and firms are changing the way they do business by accessing and utilizing a vast reservoir of untapped energy. Learn why Spirituality is the basis for success and the most important asset you have in elevating you and your business to a new level of performance. www.TomZender.com
TOM ZENDER is President Emeritus of Unity that serves over three million people of all faiths worldwide. He is a recognized spiritual leader and corporate executive with decades of success, who has held management positions at General Electric and Honeywell, and was a Senior VP in NYSE and NASDAQ listed corporations. His corporate board experience includes NASDAQ and Toronto Stock Exchange listed companies.