The other day I was describing these tough economic times as getting caught in a tide that’s going out to sea. It’s hard to swim ashore when everything around you is pulling you out to the deep, dark water. I mean, I want to spend money and buy things, but it feels like everything around me is whispering “no.” (Wait, maybe that’s just my husband.) Seriously, it’s fear of the unknown that makes us all want to grab a life preserver and hold on tight.
As I follow the news and study the history of how we got to this place where everything seems to be falling apart, I am amazed at how much of it is caused by fear. The stock market goes down and suddenly people start to freak out a bit, hold on to their cash, decide not to shop or buy…and suddenly sales go down. When sales go down, companies can’t afford to keep producing and employing people, so they lay people off. Then sales go down some more and stocks go down some more and people get more and more afraid, and before you know it we are all cowering in our pajamas and eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches—except then we find out that even peanuts are not safe and we become even more afraid. It’s a death spiral of fear.
What is the antidote to fear? Courage. We love to read books and watch movies about courageous people, but rarely do we get a chance to practice it on such a grand scale as we can now. Like fear, courage is contagious. The more we show it, the more everyone else feels strong enough to show it. Before you know it, our fears will fade and once again we will truly have faith in our future, and the tide will turn.
So I am going first. I am going to launch a new venture—an important new venture—in these darkest of times. It’s a business for the future, based on how we will want to get our health and environmental news in a virtual world. With the courage to report the truth (and the courage to not accept pharmaceutical advertising), Rodale.com will be a place you can go to whenever you need to know anything about your health and the environment…or whenever you just need a laugh. At Rodale.com we are all practicing the courage to be quirky, the courage to keep our site clean and simple so you don’t get a headache just from looking at it, and, last but not least, the courage to reach out to anyone and everyone who needs us, no matter where you live, what you are wearing, or what music you listen to.
We hope our courage is contagious. And I don’t know about you, but I am swimming back to shore. We can do it!