I'm sure many of you often feel overwhelmed with the enormity of our situation. I have bouts of it from time to time. As I have said to like minded friends; I feel the ebbs and flows of our economic and geopolitical conditions. It's as if the matrix is a living organism and I can feel the movements. Generally speaking, I feel a significant weight on my shoulders during these points of time, such as the last few weeks, where everything appears to be letting go and collapsing. During these stretches, the levers of control seem to no longer be working and my mind goes into a hyper focused planning mode.
I do not worry about my personal situation. My favourite pastime is camping and I enjoy the simple things in life. Most importantly, I understand that our way of life is going to change and my mindset has adjusted to this reality. What troubles me more than anything is the fate of my family, friends and society. Younger generations are glued to electronic devices and have never known a world without them. Studies show that kids spend much less time immersed in nature and I feel they are less grounded than any other generation in history. Our way of life has been super-sized over the past 30 or so years. Older generations are accustomed to a lifestyle that requires a constantly increasing strain on resources. Society is caught in an illusion of unceasing growth. Waves of people are relying on fragile food, health and economic systems.
More often than not, when the perfect storm is brewing in the economy and people start to express concern, a distraction or major event transpires that shifts the collective focus away from the current crisis. A return to calm occurs and the world continues to plug along as if nothing is the matter. As you are aware, the issues we face have been building for decades and the foundation of debt is slowly crumbling. Confidence is all that remains. The periods of respite that follow a duration of imminent crisis give the majority of people a false sense of security. Over time, the populace concludes that this is the way things are. Influential people play down the woes of the world and front page newspaper articles will reinforce the dogma with articles such as the Financial Post's; "McDonald's all-day breakfast a hit as sales beat expectations".
I constantly think about how to help others mitigate their soon to be felt misfortune. In the past I made an effort to reach out to people directly. Quickly I realized that most people do not want to be awakened from their slumber and its relative comfort. Have you have felt that same futility? When I worked in wealth management I became extremely disenfranchised and tired of trying to protect people from themselves and of working for institutions that saw clients as means of making profits. A year ago, just before I left the financial industry, I received an email from a client of mine and here is a portion of it:
"Driving back from our meeting today I was starting to think about everything you must have been going through the last five years, having a much too deep look into the markets and the world, knowing you have millions of dollars in peoples hard earned money in your hands, and acting on your best instincts to truly do what you believe is best for us all, at your own professional peril as markets kept working against you over the past few years, even with your bank and investors piling up against you, you refused to give in to what you believe in. Your character is a rarity to come across."
The reason I am sharing this with you is because it is important for you to stay the course and make decisions that make logical sense. Holding a contrarian view of the world is tiring, but the alternative to doing so will lead to personal catastrophe.
Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching - C.S. Lewis
Focus on the things you can control and let go of the things you cannot control. I know it's easier said then done, but you will find more peace in your life. There is no denying that the immensity of our global situation is draining to deal with. Keep focused on the things that matter. Eliminate toxic people from your life and spend more time with the people you enjoy being with. Community is going to become more important as time passes. Prepare as best you can with the resources you have available. Most of all, enjoy life and all the simple pleasures that come with it.