- THE MAGAZINE
We’ve got a lot to be angry about these days. Even if you haven’t been directly affected by the current economic downturn (count your blessings!), millions of people are now out of work through no fault of their own. If I were them, I’d be furious. Heck, the rest of us are angry on their behalf.
I’ve heard people from my grandparents’ generation talk about the Great Depression and other hard times in a very quiet, straightforward manner. Times were hard, very hard, but they kept their chins up and made it through. They didn’t complain; they were stalwart. My generation is more prone to ranting, raving and getting into arguments with perfect strangers while waiting in line at the grocery store. I’m generalizing, of course; some of us lose it more during our daily commutes.
I came across an article today that says we shouldn’t yell anymore, about anything. (Imagine my dismay. Family get-togethers will never be the same. My fellow drivers will never benefit from my clearly superior knowledge.) On the other hand, repression is also out of the question. Instead, we’re supposed to calmly discuss our differences in order to reach a mutually beneficial conclusion. To be 100% honest, I think my blood pressure ratcheted up a notch or two as I typed that sentence. Roche Pharmaceuticals (maker of Valium®) must be thrilled.
But I digress. As I sit here and contemplate the similarities between the words recession and repression, I’m actually wondering what I’ll be telling my grandchildren 20 years from now about the current economic crisis. Will I downplay the whole scenario or will I just complain about how unfair it all was? My hope is that I’ll choose to focus on the bright spots, the new opportunities that were discovered while overcoming multiple, complex challenges.
Take, for example, a woman mentioned in the same article (link below), who opened a shop where people go specifically to break things (dinnerware, ironically; hey, there’s a niche market, and quality control probably isn’t much of a concern) when they’re angry. She must be doing a banner business these days. Talk about American ingenuity!