ow is the time to pause and reflect. We need to sit back, inhale/exhale a few deep breaths and take inventory of where we were and where we are going as we bid a bittersweet adieu to the dismal and dreary time known as 2008.
While everyone hopefully caught a smile or also smiled at someone or something this year, it has to be said the last 12 months were fraught with financial woes in all shapes and sizes. The trickle-down effect to every corner of our lives was unavoidable. From the tumultuous turns on Wall Street to the many plants, stores, banks closing, it was a sad and frightening time for all of us. And that is just a fraction of sadness that hit Americans. Don't forget there are wars going on, destructive weather patterns and the polar ice caps are diminishing by the month.
What is even more alarming is that the financial crisis bled across national borders and slowly its poison was choking far-flung regions as well.
Who is to blame? To be able to say there was one action or thing that caused the dominoes to tumble is something I cannot do. It was a conglomerate of reasons, mostly greed and envy.
In thinking about these two adjectives, it dawned on me greed and envy are but two of the seven deadly sins that have plagued generations for centuries. The other five are pride, gluttony, lust, anger and sloth. Could any and/or all of these be blamed for our financial downfall?
Sloth now that is word that sounds unholy. Definition: the avoidance of physical or spiritual work. Look around, do we not all see attendance in our churches dwindling, no matter the denomination? Are there not more folks whose hands are out looking for assistance because they don't want to or cannot work?
To counteract these lowdown sins, there is another list called the seven heavenly virtues. They include:
n Liberality (Charity).
Getting back to the shaky economic/financial cesspool we have, there probably is not one thing you or I can do on our own to fix this ill quagmire of infinite proportions. But as a new year approaches, let's try to be more tolerant, gentle, hardworking and meek individuals. Together as Americans, we can overcome the biggest, most impossible odds. We need to stick together to defeat whatever is hurled our way.
That's my belief.
Happy 2009 to all of us.