I have no attention span so I recognize this trait in others easily. It is easy to see , not requiring patient observation nor any real listening skills. All one has to do today is pick up the newspaper or sit down and listen to the business news. Last week most financial experts on Bloomberg or CNN told us very clearly that the economic downturn was a thing of the past. It was a great time to jump back into the market. There were many opportunities to make money and we should all “believe in the future of our great country.” I listened to these announcements with a low level rage that surprised me. I kept thinkng of the many people out there who had lost everything in the market or in their 401 K’s and how their lives had changed. I thought of all the families who were unable to buy food or pay for their kids to go to college. There are so many things to listen to now that are sad and hopeless. So many retired folks who thought they had saved enough to see themselves through a comfortable retirement and are too old to return to work. I agree it might have been tempting to believe in the words of these financial experts and jump back into the market. What fun it would be to put quarters in a slot machine and know it was going to pay off each time you did. I wanted to believe in this positive news as well but something told me not to so I didn’t. Today the market lost most of the gains of the past month and I bet it will keep falling for the rest of the year. I wish the people who report the news would report the uncertainty of the stock market and the world economy so people who should save their money would do so. I wish we had more attention span for pain and frustration. I wish we would all become more Buddhist in our thinking and in our living. I wish the Peace Corps would start a reverse osmosis and people from underdeveloped nations would send some of their citizens here to teach us to grow beans and rice and live simply with little to distract us from our daily tasks at hand.Wouldn’t it be interesting if we stopped watching television and started reading again or took up knitting? Or what if we went out in our neighborhoods and knocked on doors and invited people over to our homes for a meal? What would happen if we decided to break apart the “culture of loneliness” written about by a few sociologists by organizing groups of people who live right near us and building new support systems? Leonardo da Vinci built machines that no one had dreamed of and no one built in his lifetime yet he drew up endless plans of the future. What if we began right now building our own social systems that were based on the universal idea of love and acceptance and care of those who couldn’t care for themselves? What if we made it our duty to bring joy into someones life on a daily basis? What if we just smiled at a few people each day? Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Yesterday I went to a wonderful yoga class in California where everyone in yoga looks like an ad for life in Marin county: fit, lovely and cheerful.I have to admit I like the look as well as the feeling. What can I say? I like it when people are friendly to me and act as if they are happy to spend a few minutes chatting with me.I like feeling as if I am in a safe place where people are not hostile nor are they bitter, angry or jealous. Life is infinitely easier when we are surrounded by those who love us and who enjoy our company. Now that I have gotten that off my chest let’s move on to the world. At the end of yoga class the teacher thanked us for sharing the space in such a careful manner and being so aware of our neighbors. She went on to add that it would be a good thing if the world could learn to do this as well. This Thursday most of the leaders of the free world are meeting in London and for one day their agenda will be about the current economic crisis and possible solutions. Obama is going to London with a big speech in his head and the desire to gather all the world leaders under his umbrella. He needs to have this happen as without the support and agreement of these countries his economic bailout plan will not work. If other world leaders decide not to support the idea of a stimulus package, we will be in big trouble. I think we will be in big trouble.
Why in the world would other countries go along with our ridiculous economic stimulus package and agree to pour their own money down the drain right along with us? The stimulus package is so enormous most people don’t even know how many zero’s there are in the numbers being discussed. It is as if we are all playing Monopoly and the bank just keeps passing out money to all the players because there happens to be a lot of extra paper money in the board game box.It is meaningless. More and more cash being thrown at a problem that was created by the careless use of cash.Obama is beginning to sound and look like Alfred E Neuman reading his text from the teleprompter and desperately trying to look strong, intelligent and in control of the situation. Mind you, I don’t think that anyone else could have done any better. Obama is the sacrificial lamb of today’s economy: his youth and inexperience will begin to make him look undependable just as those charactericstics made him so appealing to so many last fall. There is no way this poor guy will end out a winner and rescue us from disaster. No one can do this. I think we should all consider sharing space in a good way as we do in yoga class yet I know I am being unrealistic. No one can change human nature.