Monday, January 05, 2009

Working Towards a Brighter Future.

Having laid out a prediction for what will go down in history as one of the most challenging years America has ever faced, I feel the need to spend a few minutes sharing the benefits to be gained in such challenging times.

There are two distinct reactions we can have to difficulty.

We can isolate ourselves from our friends and neighbors in the interests of protecting “me and mine”. I think of this as the protectionist reaction, the very best result of which can be no further loss, however isolation precipitates a much greater loss which is measured not in dollars and cents, but in depreciation of the human spirit. You see, the magic inherent in humanity is that the potential of the group far exceeds the combined potential of the individuals within it.

I remember once, in a small town in Australia, there was a “100 year” flood that threatened the entire downtown business district. On that day, I watched sworn enemies, men who had not exchanged a civil word in twenty years, work side-by-side filling sandbags and building a levy to save the business of a third person whom they both despised.

In a moment of real and present danger, these folk were possessed of a humanity that went past their petty differences, and appealed to the far deeper human need to protect the whole community. Without the whole community, even those members they did not like, the community itself would fail, and failure of the community would threaten everybody’s survival.

There are times when we are required to put our differences aside for the greater good of our community, and this is one of those times.

The most recent lunar eclipse in August last year is one I described as the “Momentary Lapse of Reason” eclipse, where we, the people, are tending towards escape and idealism rather than reality or responsibility. This spirit of hope and idealism ably assisted Barack Obama in his run for the presidency. For millions of Americans, reality has come-a-calling under this eclipse in the form of pink-slips and economic upheaval, however that has not stopped the people from believing in a better tomorrow, right around the corner.

The coming lunar eclipse in February will bring it all home to the personal level. This could be a really good thing, or a really bad thing, depending on what we do with it.

The reality of our economic crisis will begin to sink in with the February eclipse.

This crisis IS as potentially catastrophic as the great depression.

This realization will cause people to take serious stock of themselves, their families, and their real situation.

This will throw some people into isolation mode. They will see the coming times as a serious threat, and treat everyone around them as potentially threatening. Many will erect a barrier between themselves and the outside world, and try to survive as best they can, receiving no help from anybody, and giving no help in return. Using the rhetoric of independence to mask their fears, they become bitter, cold, angry, and hard. They can do no different, for their environment and their fears will shape them.

Another group of people will, perhaps for the first time in decades, or even the first time in their lives, realize the magnitude of the problem facing the entire community. These folks will put their shoulder to the wheel, working alongside their sworn enemies, realizing that the problem facing their community is bigger than the squabbles that have kept them apart. Realizing also that, if our enemies go under, we go under with them.

Unlike a natural disaster, which is usually over quickly even if the aftermath takes a while to repair, this problem is man-made and hits everyone at the hip-pocket. It will last for a long time. It will affect everyone.

The energy of the February lunar eclipse, is Leo, the energy of the self. This influences the mood of the people for this most crucial period from February to June,

The people can insulate themselves in fear at this time, using Leo to represent “ more for Me and Mine, I can’t concern myself with You and Yours” or they can step up to the plate, saying “Me and Mine are in it with You and Yours, how can we help each other?”

There is potential in this eclipse for great things to come out of hard times. How we fare in these times will be determined, to a large degree, by the attitude we take.

The June lunar eclipse comes with the imperative “something has to be done” and wise leaders will be right there in the trenches with their people forging a plan. The eclipse period is very short, with another coming in August. This will be a period of transition from “really difficult times” to rolling up the sleeves and getting something done.

The July Solar eclipse will have the leaders persuaded to serve the needs of families, and on a broader scale, the people as a whole. This will energize the people briefly.

The August Lunar eclipse sees the people developing a stronger sense of common purpose, there will be more for people to do, and they will get about doing it.

As always, there is potential for negativity here as well, but I will address that closer to the day, when I see how these events transpire, and which of the many possible threats actually looms on the horizon at that time.

In difficult times, we have elected a president who is a thinker, a doer, a negotiator, a bringer of people to a common purpose. Much will be asked of him in his first 6 months in office, and I would much rather a president who is on the job and active in the pursuit of a better future, than one who would prefer to stand back and let the market forces determine our destiny.

I am not naïve enough to believe that president Obama can avert the trouble that is coming, I am hopeful, however, that he will display sufficient leadership to inspire the people to work towards a better future, rather than to squabble among themselves over the scraps left from the past.

With the right leadership, from the Whitehouse to the local PTA, great gains can be made from difficult times.

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