Yesterday I stumbled out for coffee and glanced at the newspaper boxes, which trumpeted the latest collapse of Wall Street. The biggest dive since 9/11, they screamed…ah well…i sat down with my coffee and blueberry cream-filled muffin, and text messaged a bunch of folks at random:
“Pssst…the global economy is collapsing…pass it on..”
My brother texted me back, in a testy sibling fashion: “So you think i/we should pull all of our investments and put them in a mattress?”
I shot back, “Nope, just doing my little bit to bring it all down…the sooner it happens the more we save”
Giggled, and went back to my muffin.
But then I thought, that’s such a glib answer…what do i mean by that, really?
I think what I mean is this: yes, the global economy IS collapsing. And it will all fall down…all the investments, all the mortgages, all the savings, the whole kleenex mountain of false security we have managed to erect around “our” money (oh yeah i forgot, it’s all ok, we’ve got insurance!). Why? I don’t really know, I’m not an economist. Peak oil (or at least the end of cheap energy) and rampant speculation, fed by a couple of decades of living on debt and borrowing and spending mania, fuelled by the devastation of our planet, exhaustion of our resources, and exploitation the world’s “developing” nations and people, I’d guess…but again, I’m not an economist, and I won’t play that boys’ game of speculating on WHEN and HOW and WHY it will all come down. I just know, that it will. As all things do.
And I know that the “global economy” is not sustainable, and this is what “unsustainable” means: it will end. Maybe in my lifetime or maybe not, it doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that it will end (like all things) and I KNOW it will end, I accept that.
What matters is that we do not live in denial, of what is so clear, right in front of our noses. This dream will end.
So, what to do? I think, no, don’t take all the money and put it in the mattress, necessarily. I think the thing to do I think is this: we each do what is wisest, in the big picture. The little stuff doesn’t matter. For the meantime, play the stock market if you want, buy a house, bank your cash, whatever. Just remember that at any moment…it may end. In fact, it is ending, now…there will be no great defining moment. And again, it really doesn’t matter, because this little lifetime, that little bank balance, is not really that important. In the big picture, what matters is what you do NOW, what is closest at hand, within your grasp: growing your garden, expanding your mind, raising humane children, supporting good leaders, riding you bike, learning new skills, LEARNING, knowing your neighbours. Becoming ever more resilient and resourceful.
And a little money in the mattress is probably not such a bad idea, cuz when the lights go out, the atm won’t be working.
Pass it on!