Risk Rap

Rapping About a World at Risk

The Upside To A Recession

yinyang2Like everything in life there are two sides to every coin. If the recession is hampering your ability to put some new coin into your piggy bank or if it drives you to break it open to help make ends meet, there may be some unintended positive consequences of this period of economic duress. Yesterday during a hike in the hills of beautiful Harriman State Park, a member of our troop spoke of a recent article she read in the New Your Times. The article was about how some people are responding to the loss of their jobs by taking up a physical fitness regimen. People who are now blessed with the gift of unoccupied time, excess energy and the need to quell anxiety are burning off the exigencies of fear with a vigorous workout. Some people are using the opportunity of being unemployed as a way to get back into shape. A good thing and an unexpected and unintended consequence of the recession. We began to think about some of the other positive unintended consequences born from the recession and we came up with the following items. Its good to accentuate the positive.

Lower Gas Prices: We see it and celebrate it at the pump every time we pull in to fill up. The economic downturn has quelled the worldwide demand for energy and oil. It is reflected in the lower prices we pay. The price of gas in Jersey has dropped by over 50% since the summer.

Healthy Environment: The demand for oil is falling because factories are operating at diminished capacities. Unoccupied office space needs less light and heat. People are turning down their thermostats to save money. Businesses are delivering less goods while people are commuting less to work and business travel is way down. The diminished use of fossil fuels is lessening the amount of carbon based emissions being released into the atmosphere. This gives Mother Earth a brief respite from our all out assault on her delicate ecological sensibilities. There is also a lot less noise pollution in my surburban neighborhood. The constant drone of speeding cars and the decelerating roar of jet engines initiating a landing has lessened greatly. Silence is golden.

More Time with Family: Spending less time at work provides more time to be with family. The kids need help with homework. Your spouse needs to know they are loved. Kids love to see you at their JV basketball game or watching them practice Tae Kwon Do at the local dojo. Little ones will forever remember the bed time stories you read to them. Goodnight Moon and the Run Away Bunny are bed time classics that will make you smile for the rest of your life. More time at home also allows you to turn off the Nanny Cam and stop being a virtual parent. You can now become one in the flesh. A virtual presence is good. Being physically, emotionally and mentally available for your family is better.

Eating More Healthy Foods: The recession may require us to trim down the food budget. One way to do this is by replacing all the processed foods we have become accustomed to buying and consuming because we didn’t have the time to cook meals using wholesome fresh foods. Now that we are blessed with more time and incented to save money we can replace the box of mac and cheese with the protein rich rice and beans. We can replace the frozen fish sticks with a fillet of fresh broiled fish accented with a sprig of rosemary. Yum Yum!

Reading More Books: Last week I needed to visit the main branch of the NY Public Library. I was pleasantly surprised to find a large line queuing at the entrance waiting for it to open. People can take the opportunity to fill their free time to read more books. Libraries are free and provide a rich offering of mind enriching services. Some will go back to school to get a degree, learn a new trade or acquire a new skill. Reading books also provide a wonderfully constructive escape from the harsh realities of a recession.

Quality of Life: It may seem counter intuitive but the recession can help you to upgrade your quality of life. Eliminating the expense of all those extra cable channels will dampen the temptation of watching “All in the Family” reruns or “The Titanic” for the sixth time. The changing economic realities of our lives will certainly create the possibilities for looking at new opportunities and explore the benefits of a simpler more active life. Getting back into nature, sports, learning, family, community service and pursuing the personal projects and dreams we have all sought to do can become real and can enhance the quality of our lives beyond our wildest imaginings.

Spiritual Development: Trying times will create opportunities for people to explore their inward selves. The Apostle James says we should consider difficulties as opportunities for growth. Growth occurs if one is faithful and willing to connect to solutions that are larger then oneself. That connection is made possible through an optimistic application of faith that believes that all things are possible and that the joy is truly in the journey. Living through tough economic times may not be fun but it can be a joyous experience. If we are mindful we can detect the presence of the heavenly born opportunities that are the unintended consequences of our time of trail. If we remain grateful we will be blessed with sight to realize the abundant grace we enjoy in the midst of our trying circumstances. As we live life abundantly we need to remember to share it with others so that our portion of joy may double.

You Tube Video: Bing Crosby & Bette Midler: Accentuate the Positive

Risk: negativism, pessimism, faith

February 22, 2009 Posted by | economics, faith, psychology, recession | , , | Leave a comment