Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How To Remain Hopeful in the Midst of the Worst Financial Crisis Since the Great Depression Part II (2)

By Miriam B. Medina

(Continued from Page: 1)

The Panic of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression were the most terrible the country has ever suffered. After the stock market crash that began on October 23, 1929, culminating in the single worst day in Wall Street history, a day that would be known infamously as Black Tuesday, the country was economically gutted. "The stock market crash in October 23, 1929 wiped out an average of more than a billion dollars worth of paper values a day. A staggering total of 15 million were unemployed, and those who continued to work did so under greatly reduced wage scales." The flow of money into productive activities slowed down to a trickle. The country was suffering from under consumption, not overproduction. Banks were weighted down with government bonds, real estate mortgages based on exceedingly appreciated valuations, and highly speculative securities. Although, each of these crises, loaded with dreadful consequences, culminated in "Hard Times" for the American people, but the country still survived, ultimately returning to business as usual, resuming its former prosperity and growth. But America has ignored the lessons of the past.

Once again, we are in the midst of a new financial mess, one eerily similar to the Great Depression. Now, more than ever, we are in desperate need of Faith so that we can deal with the enormous problems ahead of us, and we need to hope that there will be a "business as usual" for us in the near future.

The general overall picture looks quite dismal. Apprehension has been clouding everyone's thoughts. Most people are living through extremely difficult times; their worlds seem to have crashed around them, plunging them into an abyss, filled with feelings of helplessness and despair. They are afraid to think of the future. Loss of income has forced many to make drastic changes to their lifestyles. Fear of the unemployment checks not showing up in the mailbox or savings being depleted dominate their thoughts, not Christmas joy or Yuletide cheer. Yet, we cannot linger and wallow in our negative attitudes and emotions. If we are to face the future with any kind of strength, the first thing we need to do is to discourage and eliminate those negative emotions that are driven by fear, panic, anxiety and despair. We must substitute this fear with positive emotions. A negative mind does not inspire courage, faith or belief. As Napoleon Hill once said, "A mind dominated by positive emotions becomes a favorable abode for the state of mind known as faith."

A skeptic would probably say: "You can't be talking about faith and hope? Get real lady, you don't even have a clue as to what I and others like me are going through! It's just not that easy! You're not in our shoes!"

Believe me, I am not being insensitive. I do understand your anger, and my heart feels your pain. I agree that there are factors that are totally out of our control, while others are of our own making. Economic deprivation is suffered by all groups within the community, it is not racist nor does it single out any religious beliefs, it consumes us all. Each person's situation is genuinely sincere and entirely different. While some have undergone substantial losses, others have suffered less. Nevertheless, no one's suffering is in any way less severe than the other's. Even at this precise moment, my own house is also being affected by this financial crisis. The current uncertainty in our economy makes everyone's options extremely limited. It hurts just not knowing how dreadful it will be before it gets better again.

Though I feel reasonable cause for worry, I don't want it to become an obsession that disturbs my sleep and influences my daily activities. So if I maintain a positive attitude toward the problem that I am facing, this will move my attention from the object of worry and put me in a state of calmness, eliminating confusion and distress. When times are worst, we must think most clearly, and I'm here to tell you, times are pretty bad so we must keep a clear head. In doing so, this will allow us to think with clarity, and help us to apply composure in dealing with any circumstances. One has to meet his or her problems in a positive, constructive way, no matter how depressing it may seem. There are those who have accepted the challenge and have been successful. Again it is not what happens to us, but HOW we react to it that counts. So we all need to start right, because when we start right on this journey of faith and hope, half of the battle is won.

In the final installation of this piece, part three, I will break down, step by step, ways to help you cope with your problems, ways to help keep your mind clear, and ways that will help you keep your hope through the remainder of this economic nightmare.

To be continued: Part III (1)

To contact: miriammedina@earthlink.net

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