I consider myself a navigator. I love to study maps, figure out where I am going, find the most interesting route to get there, and then sync up the memorized map in my head with the terrain unfolding before my eyes.
Figuring out where I am in space grounds me, and orients me for my journeys. Sometimes I quiz myself. Sitting here right now I might try to figure out, just from the sun, or the maps in my head: Which way is California? The North Pole? London?
I like to know where I am. I’ve lived mostly in the same place my whole life, and every once in a while I find a road I’ve never been on before. Traveling down a strange road so close to home thrills me—it’s like a secret door to another world. I remember driving down route I-78 for the very first time with my father.
“It’s so beautiful,” he said wistfully.
These days, with an unprecedented global economic collapse happening, it feels like there are no maps to tell us where we are going or how to get there. We are in uncharted waters and on unmapped land. This is a whole new road, one we’ve never been on before. While the past can give us clues—we can study other recessions and depressions—it doesn’t show us any direct route. We need to figure it out for ourselves.
More than ever we need to rely on our inner compass to guide and direct us. That inner compass isn’t just directional in a physical way; as in any epic journey, it’s got to be a moral compass as well. On this journey, there will be monsters that can only be slain by love, villains that can only be defeated if we don’t fight them head-on, and magical clues that can only be helpful if we pay them special attention.
As hard as these times are, and will be, and as much as they require a new kind of alertness, this is our time to make history. To write our own story about how we pushed through the darkness and came out the other side as heroes. If we think of this as an adventure story in which we all actively participate, maybe it won’t feel so bad. I believe that as long as we stay true to our path, and live every day with honor and integrity, the map will reveal itself and we will all make it safely to our destination.