Success or Suicide?
Are you feeling a little anxious? It's no wonder, considering the news these days. The Wall Street fiasco has brought out the lemming in many of us.
This is an unsettling time, and I have been particularly struck by the juxtaposition of two separate events in the news recently: the Wall Street woes and a temple stampede in India.
According to the Associated Press, "A Hindu temple official blamed an unruly group of pilgrims trying to get ahead in a line of worshipers for a stampede that killed more than 200 people and injured nearly 60 in western India."
Headlines on the financial crisis read:
"Credit Worries Weigh On Wall Street"
"Dow, S&P Slip As Credit Worries Remain"
"Market Falls As Credit Worry Undermines Trust"
And while the federal government "bails out" Wall Street, investors are "abandoning ship," leaving companies and compatriots "high and dry."
Aren't these two events essentially depicting the same thing? People trying to get ahead by climbing over others in the misguided attempt to claim what is theirs? Confused people panicking and making a bad situation even worse?
It reminds me of the story of Chicken Little. "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"
How do you stay calm in the midst of chaos? Whose lead do you follow? I wonder what would have happened without the worry. What if there was no fear?
Imagine for a moment that people had remained calm on hearing the recent news from Wall Street. What if everyone had just left their money where it was? Now I'm no economist, but wouldn't the stock market have remained on an even keel? So which is worse? The news, or the panic about the news?
I believe the real problem is simply a lack of awareness. We tend to emotionally react out of fear when what is needed is a thoughtful, loving response.
Should I rush to sell all my investments in order to protect what is "mine?" Or should I instead ask myself, "Am I invested in trustworthy companies, products and people that are making the world a better place?"
How are you investing your time, your energy, your money? Are your investments life-giving for yourself and others? Are you investing in things that will never lose their value -- things like relationships, knowledge, understanding, or peace?
"Me first" thinking can lead to certain destruction. "Mine only" thinking can leave us feeling isolated and afraid. And getting caught up in the panicking crowd can be deadly.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." -Jesus