So when IS the “recovery” going to start? There are those that say it is underway and there are others that say what is going on is merely a smoke screen for much worse things yet to come.
You perhaps think that there actually is an answer to this question—-and you are perhaps secretly hoping (against all odds) that not only do I have the answer but that I will tell you—-that I will quote some new government statistic and eloquently spell out “the how” and “the when.”
The problem I have with most people’s concept of recovery is that not only do they hope that recovery will get them back to where they were previously but also on some level they have the idea that they will be “reimbursed” for what they have lost—or at least be able to “catch-up” with where they might have gotten to.
This concept of “entitlement” is epidemic in our country.
The idea that if I suffer, if I lose ground, if I drop below some self-defined “standard,” that I am entitled to be compensated for my losses.
On a personal level, I have lost “everything” financially a couple of times in my life. That is to say, I have gotten to “zero” and had to “start over.”
The US Department of Charity has never sent me a check to assist with my picking myself up by my bootstraps. Instead I had to take whatever job I could get, and accept the kindness of friends as well as strangers to find a new path. At one point I was down to beer and French-fries offered by a bartender. One conversation led to another and the next thing I knew I was doing odd jobs for the owner of the building who happened to own many buildings.
I learned gradually, that there are no “guarantees” and that all security is an illusion bolstered by other illusions that are further supported by the agreement of other people with the same illusions.
So here is my answer to the original question of when the recovery is going to start.
There is not going to be any “recovery” that fits most people’s notions of a recovery.
Actually I am not even sorry about it.
I think we got ourselves to a place we should not have been, so having to regroup is likely a good thing. We can point fingers in hundreds of directions and come up with all manner of excuses and reasons. The blunt truth is closer to a truth that the people who “lost everything” are never going to get back to where they were—they are going to have to start over—-and may end up with some of the things that had before—-or end up in an entirely different place.
It really is as simple as that.
If the kids were in private school they will now be in public school. If they used to shop at Nordstrom they may now have to shop at the Salvation Army and K-Mart. If they used to drive a BMW, they may now have to take the bus. It may be on this bus that they meet their next wife because of the one that left them for being such a financial failure.
Regrets and angst about where we are in terms of what we have lost, only reflects the degree to which our lives have become more about those “things” than about the “journey” that makes up our lives.
In the end it is not the person with the most stuff that wins—-it is the one with the most stories about the journey that wins.
And remember: The Recovery Will NOT Be Televised!
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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