I had to memorize a poem in grade school, that keeps coming back to me during the present economic crisis. The poem was written by Rudyard Kipling and is called "If..." It says, in part, "If you can keep your head when all about you, are losing theirs..." Keeping your head seems a good idea right now with the stock markets of the world gyrating hundreds of points within a matter of minutes. The poem goes on to say:
"If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss..."
Now is the time for social and emotional strength. In talking to friends the last few days, there is a preoccupation with loss, primarily from those worrying that their present retirement funds will evaporate or that their plans for the future are now drastically changed. There is no denying the real effect of the economy on individuals' lives, but the way we react to those challenges is under our control.
The AARP magazine did a survey concerning hunger in America and found, surprisingly, that many people were going hungry that lived in large homes, drove late model cars and had good jobs. The subjects of the study were so attached to their material wealth, that when they could not make enough to pay for all their "stuff" they would rather starve than give up their car or house or boat. Luke 12:34 "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Ardeth G. Kapp, then, general president of the Young Women of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said the following in a devotional
address given at Brigham Young University on 13 November 1990:
"I believe the most destructive threat of our day is not nuclear war, not famine, not economic disaster, but rather the despair, the discouragement, the despondency, the defeat caused by the discrepancy between what we believe to be right and how we live our lives. Much of the emotional and social illness of our day is caused when people think one way and act another. The turmoil inside is destructive to the Spirit and to the emotional well-being of one who tries to live without clearly defined principles, values, standards, and goals."
Link for the entire talk: http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=7064
Now is the time to reassess our goals and our lives and, if we haven't already started, begin now to implement a plan of preparedness. Let's all hope that it isn't already too late.