Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Leveling the Playing Field

About once a generation, or at least once in a lifetime, events will occur that will turn winners into losers, and the first will be last, and so one should prepare themselves for those crises -- which is also an opportunity if one can recognize it as such, rather than merely justifying their hopeless despair which is most commonly seen as the whining and complaining about what somebody else, the government, or even God should be doing to make everything right.

But rather, it is God, the government, and everyone else, that have presented them with that blessing in disguise -- which is the wonder and celebration of Christmas, or any special observance. It is what we make of it --individually, personally, thoughtfully, while also together, and that is the significance we all observe at the same time.

Right now, most of the civilized world is reassessing the life that materialism and prosperity has brought but also has been unceremoniously taken away at its very height. And so the best laid plans and dreams for the future have been changed. The visions of lifetime security in affluence and endless vacations in the sun have now given way to a reality of all those things suddenly losing their presumed values and are being revealed as merely the illusions they have recently been accustomed to and largely taken for granted.

At such times, individuals as well as societies, have to reestablish their values and priorities in new ways closer to the underlying realities that are now revealed. Real estate, tangible and intangible “assets” don’t always appreciate -- but from time to time, crash and become liabilities that chain us from all the choices now available to all, but are most likely to be grabbed by those who see themselves as having nothing to lose, while those same choices and opportunities, will be denied, overlooked and dismissed, because one cannot embrace the opportunities of the present new -- conditioned as those who have never known any other, think is the only way it can ever be.

It seems that every year about this time, we are reminded if not scolded, that it is these thoughts that matter and are so important -- and not the many gifts and blessings we take for granted, and thus, so easily lose, or realize they do not have the great value we have grown lately accustomed to thinking is the goal, meaning and purpose of every life.

In this way, life’s playing field is once again leveled, and we all get a chance to remake it as we can, as though everyone is starting all over again -- and assessing the value in their lives of which everything else is merely the outward reflection of.


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