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Op-Ed: A Crisis of Opportunity

April 9th, 2009 by Temple City Tribune

Media pundits and experts announce daily that a global economic tsunami has arrived and that more flooding is around the corner. Short-term and long-term damages are repeatedly analyzed and calculated. The reality is that we are in danger of drowning in trillions of dollars of national debt as the average person watches the tide rise high enough to wash away years of personal earnings and savings.
The effect of this economic disaster is the erosion of confidence and the proliferation of fear – the two enemies of a serene and prosperous life regardless of anyone’s bank statement. When ruled by fear and self-confidence lags, the mindset becomes a catch-22, which focuses on lack instead of abundance.
During the devastating 2004 Asian Tsunami, the Onge tribe reportedly saved themselves by running to higher ground when they saw the sea recede prior to the tsunami. Using that as a metaphor, perhaps we should do the same in order to survive the economic mess we’re in.
As the pundits and experts espouse personal opinions and their educated guesswork to explain this self-imposed tidal wave, bad news arrives daily at our door. Saturated, we move from thinking about toxic assets to toxic thinking.
Higher ground is definitely needed.
Scientists and metaphysicians alike support the concept that we are part of a universe that operates with perfect order – a higher order that we are connected to but rarely focus on at a conscious level.
Those who live their lives from “higher ground” are aware of their connection to universal order and reflect it in their lives through their thoughts, feelings and actions. Thoughts become organized leading to organization of personal affairs. Clarity leads to transparency and accountability. Solutions appear and wisdom is revealed.
Greed and vagueness, the faulty foundation which helped create this economic tsunami, operate from lower ground and are fueled by fear. But when we step up to higher ground and rise above the drama of life we leave behind our cluttered past, childish fears and behavior.
Easier said than done? Of-course. But if we are truly going to change the course of events, then we must be willing to change our consciousness.
Opportunity lies before us in the appearance of an unparalleled global crisis. The United States prides itself in being a world leader. However, in order to be an effective leader, the United States must mature. We are a young nation and it appears we are struggling with our teenage years. A know-it-all attitude with traces of arrogance, recklessness and self-focus has helped to create the current crisis, which is needed in order to wake up and clean up the results of our immaturity.
Already we are beginning to collectively and personally taking a more careful look at our finances. With a closer assessment of our actions relating to money, we are admitting carelessness has been the culprit more often than not.
Most will think twice before signing mortgage documents without reading and understanding the contract and possible consequences. More people are waking up to the fact that easy credit is costly when it becomes a crutch for out-of-control spending or a co-dependent partner for day-to-day living expenses.
Lessons are good – when we learn. Wake-up calls are good – if we actually wake up. New behavior must override past destructive patterns. The corporate world is teetering on the brink of the canyon right now. What will it be – more of the same? Or a new consciousness that thinks beyond selfishly filling its own coffers to the detriment of others.
A shift in consciousness requires the willingness to change. It demands a dedicated vigilance in order to not repeat the old pattern. Move a wastebasket to another side of the room. How many times are you going to hit the floor with trash as your memory readjusts to its new location? Most likely a lot if you unconsciously toss a piece of paper and definitely less if you stay awake – consciously remembering the new change.
History repeats itself only if we fail the lesson. It’s up to us to chart a new course and success begins with each individual. Maturity begins with acceptance of self-responsibility. Blame and condemnation of others is seen for what it is – wasted energy.
The word crisis comes from the Greek word krisis, which means decide. Our nation is at a turning point. Our destiny lies within our choices. Your decision affects the whole. As you make your choices, the world is watching.

By Susan Ann Darley

Susan Ann Darley is a creativity coach and writer living in Sierra Madre. She teaches, “Prospering in a Poor Economy,” beginning April 22 at Pasadena City College. susan@susananndarley.com

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