Saturday, March 21, 2009

20/20 Last Night


Did anyone catch 20/20 last night? My husband was begging me to turn it off because it was anxiety producing for him, but for me, and the amateur psychologist in me, it was fascinating. (Mostly because of the ingenuity and creativity of the human being to conquer adversity.) The first segment was about a family where the husband had an MBA, had worked as a broker in a lucrative business, now his house was in foreclosure and he was forced to take a job as a pizza delivery man. It was a very sad situation, no doubt, and I can see how my husband felt anxiety - him being one year into a six month sabbatical from working. Lucky for us, we sold the big money-sucking house in Minneapolis and were able to move to what once was a (small) vacation home (debt free). But for this couple, their savings were sucked up trying to stay in the home that they had raised their children. The man talked about losing his pride along the way, as he took jobs he would never have thought possible. The wife talked about her complete lifestyle change, from country-club dinners to shopping with food stamps.

I am seeing this scenario play out all around me. My brother took a big salary cut last week, his business owner had been the the victim of yet another Ponzi scheme in California. My friend called and said she was just laid off from a job she thought was safe because they were so busy. Other friends are losing homes, businesses going under. 

So what is my point? 

I think we are going through a massive re-ordering of priorities on a global scale. I think what will come out of all this will be better human beings. I think this pain is needed, and our world will never be the same. We are going from a consumer-based, selfish, self-centered human race to one that will be more compassionate, humble, and empathetic. Will there still be greed? Yes. But greed will no longer be as acceptable. 

And I am taking back that cute jacket and shell I found yesterday, that was really too expensive, and not needed. It has changed my world, too. 

11 comments:

Reya Mellicker said...

I agree with you completely. I'm hearing all kinds of stories - both frightening and encouraging. I believe we are waking up - a Really Good Thing, since we could not continue to suck up all the world's resources just so we can be comfortable.

The acquisition of STUFF has to stop. It is stopping. For now, life is chaotic and scary. But it's all for the best. I feel that in my heart of hearts.

Great post.

Oh ... and ... I am a morning person.

Star said...

Yes, it almost feels like the world is being judged...and found wanting in both senses of the word, doesn't it!
Blessings, Star

Kathy's Klothesline said...

The best medicine always has a bad taste.

DUTA said...

The trouble is that when a person or a whole nation is addicted to something (to credit, to big houses and cars, to shopping of various goods etc...) it's not always possible to stop the addiction no matter of how hard one tries. It's very much like drug addiction.

Sink said...

I am sure that there is some sort of learning available to us in all of this mess. The pendulum is swinging, looking for the balance. I just hope we learn it all soon.

TheChicGeek said...

I agree with you completely. I think our society has become so selfish, greedy, over-indulgent and this is a much needed reordering of priorities. In the long run, we will be the better for it.

Rose said...

I think for the most part people have forgotten what is really important. I just keep getting rid of stuff. Stuff is not important, people are important.
Teach only love, for that is all you are.

California Girl said...

About ten years ago,David Halberstam published a terrific book, The Fifties. It is an overview of the post WWII era, the era which, in his opinion, really started "consumerism". I look back on my growing up in the Fifties and Sixties as simple but I also know it was privileged. I guess, for many Boomers & Gen X'rs, acquisitive aspirations were learned behavior from our folks. The difference is, our folks tempered it with savings because they'd been through the Depression. Our greatest downfall has been to ignore our parents' advice to remain vigilent and fiscally prudent; to think the paradigm had shifted and things were different this time.

California Girl said...

P.S. For a condensed version of what Halberstam's book is about, I just read an article in April Vanity Fair called "The American Dream". it chronicles how Americans went from a society of producers to consumers...again, post WWII.

Lori ann said...

This was a timely post and I think something on most peoples minds these days, I didn't see the show (not a tv watcher) but thank you for bringing this up!

Lover of Life said...

Reya - So true about resources - we absolutely must acquiring stuff to fill the void that should be filled with people and service.

Star - This definitely feels like judgement and we are coming up way short!

Kathy - We are definitely having to swallow some foul stuff and it isn't over yet.

DUTA - Thanks for commenting on my blog - nice to meet you and YES we are ADDICTED. I wonder what we will fill that addiction with now that we can no longer borrow?

Sink - I believe it to be a pendulum also - we are looking for balance, I agree.

Chic - We will be much better off for it as will our planet.

Rose - If we only knew now that LOVE will be all that matters when our days here are over.

California Girl - I went right to that article in Vanity Fair - it was so right on the money (no pun intended) - thanks for directing me to it.

Lori Ann - I watch too much tv - but only in winter. Is that an excuse?