Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last six months, you know that our current economic crisis has been going from bad to worse, with no respite on the horizon in the near future. While this is a particularly challenging period of time, we can take valuable lessons from the economic crisis that can help us navigate these rough waters and live responsibly when the storm has subsided.
With large lines of credit and technology advancing at a rapid pace, many people live far outside of their means these days. For many people, life is hard to imagine without all of the creature comforts that are now commonplace in daily life. Humility is something that can be learned from this; we don’t always have to possess the newest gadget to live a fulfilling life, especially if it requires you to live outside of your means.
Temperance and Moderation
Especially in the West, lifestyles have become very excessive. Large vehicles are driven simply for status, food is wasted and thrown out in restaurants, and the exploits of celebrities are followed more closely than many other newsworthy events. The excesses we witness are reflected in the quality of life people now seek. After things went from bad to worse, however, these excesses were quickly shed and people began to look for more economical and environmentally conscious choices.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and many people have begun to seek out ways to make their lifestyle match their means. After all, what good is having a huge SUV if you can’t afford to put gas in the tank? Gradually, the shift back to temperance and moderation is taking place once again. People are beginning to realize that maintaining a high quality of life isn’t related to what you have, but how you live.
Again, technological advances are wonderful and have helped to bring our world together in unprecedented ways over the last two decades. Yet, as much as these advances have simplified our lives, they have also put distance between us and our fellow human beings. The economic crisis has brought the humanity of our predicament back into our awareness.
Greater social consciousness is an unforeseen benefit of the economic fallout. People are working together to make sure that our world as we know it does not crumble and fall to the wayside. Communities have grown stronger and many stories about workers taking pay cuts or reduced hours to ensure that their friends and coworkers stay employed are now gracing the pages of our newspapers.
While the economic crisis that we are experiencing here at home and throughout the world is not a good thing overall, there are many lessons one can take from this situation for personal and societal growth. As things begin to change for the better, we can only hope that the lessons learned will stay firmly rooted in our collective psyche.
This is the first guest post at All Considering.
This post was contributed by Holly McCarthy. She invites your feedback at hollymccarthy12 at gmail dot com
2 thoughts on “What Our Economic Woes Can Teach Us”
Might not hurt to consider the nature of citizenship.
Good points Katinka. I must say though however, that it seems to me that the current economic woes were mathematically inevetable. An economic system that creates virtual money through debt, perpetuates inflation and requires constant growth to survive was never going to last forever. Whilst Conspiracy Theories are a messy minefield, this seems pretty clear to me. You cannot have Infinite growth in a Finite system, 1+1=2! The problems we are having now have been predicted well in advance are were ultimately avoidable.
Where we go from here is not set in stone, I’d like to see the general public take interest in understanding why this has happened, and demand a truly equitable economic system.
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