Monday, March 9, 2009
Hard times can be greatest teacher if we give up victimhood, greed, excess for needed change
I try to bounce my political opinions off a couple of people I really respect because they have constant contact with the public as families and consumers.
So today I was talking to a Williamson County businessman and recalling his remark from a few weeks ago that hard times are not necessarily bad for society.
And it was only now that I could really appreciate his remarks as I listen to more people scream for government and courts to solve their problems instead of looking to themselves, just as my parents and their parents did.
Hard times are a great teacher. My friend drives a $700 pickup even though he could afford a brand new car. I drive a 1994 Taurus. And we both delight in defying society's standards in saving money when others would prefer to spend and look good.
I love denying myself a treat, like a Whopper or an ICEE. First, both aren't good for me. Second, our Catholic faith teaches us to rejoice in denial of the body for the spirit.
This nation and its citizens have lived on over-excess for more than two decades, believing there would never be an end to rising home prices and better paying jobs and a robust stock market. But economic cycles dictate otherwise. And now for this nation, all three have come to grinding halt and even reversal.
We can complain and whine, or we can do something about it and do as our grandparents did in the Great Depression. We can toughen up and do without to simply survive now, and then take on prosperity with a new discipline and responsibility.
If we do not learn from misfortune and see it as an opportunity to change for the better, then we are doomed to dwell in despair and self pity that will only keep us down for good.