Monday, February 2, 2009

Thriving, surviving, or...?

A week ago we went to the Whistle Wok here in mighty AF to celebrate Chinese New Year (as required by our little Asian contingent.) Yes, we're big-time partiers. Along with the sweet and sour and broccoli beef, we got our usual assortment of fortune cookies with fortunes at no extra charge...

Along with the many funny ones, there was the one captured above: "You will find your horizons suddenly broadened." Which got me to thinking...How's everybody doing out there? I happen to work in an industry that is very discretionary, as in, "Buying art is the last thing I'm thinking about right now, dude. Gotta eat. Gotta pay the mortgage. But thanks..." So we're seeing and hearing everyday about how tough things are out there. Knowing that there are those I care about working in things like construction, shipping, government, retail, etc. basically right now, everyone is being affected by this. And as much as I wish it weren't so, I don't think we've seen the worst of it...sorry. It's simply the Law of gravity applied to global economics. What went (way, way) up must of necessity now come down.

So...with that little pinch of gloominess for your Monday out of the way, here's some of the (many) positives:

1. People are now, perhaps more than ever before, "in a preparation to hear the word (Alma 32:6) This is supernally important. Pain is, after all, how God gets His children's attention. Are your knees getting more work? Mine certainly are.

2. Economic gut-checks can be very helpful in determining what one really needs to be happy. You know, as in "What would I need to live if I was on Gilligan's Island? (Sorry, Ginger is taken!)" Cutting back is generally painful, and almost certainly at first. But one begins to feel a lightening affect (or should) that increases our personal buoyancy, allowing us to feel like we're better able to give of ourselves without that feeling of being so stuff-centered. Perhaps my all-time favorite Neal A. Maxwell quote (not easy to pick, mind you) is when he said that "the cares of the world are so easy to care about."

3. As the above good fortune suggests, new horizons can open, sometimes quite suddenly. Another favorite quote, from the Scottish (of course!) mountaineer W.H. Murray, says it all:

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness-- Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."

History has generally shown that in difficult times, innovation advances. Those not willing to take risks before of necessity decide to take some. New ideas emerge. Brisk adventures are initiated.

There are certainly more positives to ponder, but why should I have all the fun? Feel free to share your own musings on the state of the world (or just the state of yours.) And wave those fears on by. I've heard a very wise man say the following on three different occasions recently:

"Whenever you have a fearful thought, replace it with an act of faith, and the fearful thought will disappear." Couldn't say it better myself, and I therefore won't try.

There is this amazing promise, among many:

D&C 90:24 - "Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith ye have covenanted one with another"

And just in case the water is especially brisk right now, "Hold On, The Light Will Come."


  1. those are good thoughts, and sugestions, i still carry a burden or two which make it difficult to see the positive....

    but i do have a core beilef which tells me, that if i don't blind my self with despare, new opportunity will arise. as will I.

  2. I'm not sure I have a great postive note to add other than this is a well-timed and appreciated blog. Always insightful.

  3. I have found that my friends and neighbors and fellow ward members (which happen to be my friends and neighbors) well we have been doing alot of trading services. You know I'll fix your teeth and you sew my daughter a new dress sort of thing. I love this idea and I think in hard times or in times of plenty I would love to take advantage and participate in such a thing. We still have a job over here but things could change for anybody in a matter of minutes. We just remember to be thankful always and never to take it for granted that we do have a job and health insurance and a Heavenly Father who hears and answers our prayers.

  4. I whole heartedly believe that when you move towards a course of commited action a shift happens in your world. Things that were impossible begin to seem probable. This is the only way I made it through 6 years of college... broke without a babysitter and feeling pretty much out of my league. Thanks what a good reminder to keep moving forward even if you are walking in hip deep mud..