The late Paul Harvey once said, “In times like these it helps to recall there have always been times like these.” I think those words may be more relevant today than the day he coined them.
All across the airwaves and print you’ll be bombarded with clarion calls. You must tax. You mustn’t tax. The rich are hurting you. The rich will save you. There are no job opportunities. There are now opportunities like never before. Each side yelling and screaming as if things like this have never been seen before. What most never realize is that their view of history begins and ends with the day they were born. Lip service will be given to history, but in the practical application of their own lives its treated as a segment from Mystery Science Theater 3000.
My purpose is not to give you the impression of right or wrong on anything taking place. That decision is up to you. All I’m pointing out is in what some see as “This time it’s different!” Thinking with a clear head away from the trumpets can sometimes help in understanding and in lessening the pounding headaches.
We are currently in a malaise of problems stemming from what is now called the “Great financial collapse of ’08” or the “Great Recession.” We’re doomed forever is the call of many. However we did have a great financial crash and depression in the 1920’s through 30’s. Some of the greatest advancements and tragedies happened after. Airplanes, autos, medicine. Along with World War. But we made it through and I’ll contend better than before. However it doesn’t start or stop there. For people before us when the 1920’s and 30’s were taking place many had seen Civil War, crippling poverty and more. I would imagine many thought the same thing as many of us do right now.
Imagine just how absurd you would sound telling someone at Valley Forge shortly after one of their extremities were just removed because of frostbite (and with no anesthesia) the difficulties we face today. Would you think they would have a little better perspective on things than us?
I personally had the privilege of growing up not only knowing, but living with my Great Grandparents, and Great Aunt. I was able to have first hand accounts of what is like to live and work during the Great Depression, World War 1, along with recounts of their parents (That would be my Great, Great!) trials and tribulations going back as far as picking out family among the war dead during the Spanish-American war.
I was fortunate to have that ability. I often think because I did I’m able to see things just a bit more clearly or to put things into perspective better.
I myself see great opportunities ahead. I am not Pollyanna in my view that it will be clear sailing from here. Rougher waters might lay ahead. But we are captains of our own ships. And you can not, and will not ever find new horizons, new worlds, or new treasures tied up at the docks. Would any weathered captain not set sail for open water because a new crew were hand wringing about what lay ahead because they just witnessed their first hurricane while on land?
If we are truly what many like to call themselves be it entrepreneurs or more. Then chart your course, and set your sail because one thing remains the same.
To quote William H. Shedd, “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what a ship was built for!”
© 2012 Mark St.Cyr