What's So Bad About 1997?

Last week my co-worker sent this email regarding the current economic situation. He has quite a way with words - sarcasm & humor being careful tools in this convicting challenge to us all:

After this week’s dismal stock performance, it’s official: The media is screaming how “the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression has now erased more than a decade's worth of gains on Wall Street.” Oh, dear…

O.K., what’s done is done…so think about it;

That means some of our portfolios are worth about what they were worth back in 1997. So ask yourself – what was so bad about 1997? Are you that myopic? Wasn’t that the heyday of the Clinton Administration? Wasn’t that in the good old days before 9/11? Wasn’t that back when tech stocks could do no wrong and everyone was giddy at the thought that the Dow could actually cross 8,000? Wasn’t that back in the days when we were declaring that a glorious new millennium was right around the corner?

O.K. So use your imagination – Just act like It’s 1997 again, and we’re back to those values (financially at least). Maybe you lost, maybe you won. Fine – get over it!

First, I recommend that you get back to work - yeah…but do more than just show up at work. While you’re there;

  • do a great job, like you used to do when you were so happy that you had just gotten a new job…remember?
  • design, make and sell products that are worth owning enough that you might actually buy one yourself
  • For heaven’s sake quit whining!
  • Facebook is not a part of your job description
  • A flat panel monitor does not make you more important, and the size of your screen is not a measure of your manhood.
  • Maybe you’d be more productive if you’d dump the monthly fee techno-trinkets you thought you couldn’t live without - like that Blackberry.
  • Need to communicate? Instead of texting on a cell phone, try writing an email instead – computers have a real keyboard and it provides fast data entry!
  • …or even (gasp) pick up that corded phone on your desk and call your co-worker to discuss a problem. Don’t worry about your image – corded phones are in. They’re VERY retro.

Oh, how to live?

First - only buy what you truly need – “need” means I’ll be wet, hungry, naked, cold, and/or dirty if I don’t have at least one of item “x”.
Second, don’t spend money you don’t have. “Money you don’t have” means any money not currently resident in your checking account or wallet as real dollars. It does not mean an advance on your credit card, a purchase with promise of a rebate, a tax return you plan on getting, a potential stimulus check, an anticipated five bucks from you’re a co-worker for that lunch he owes you, etc.
Third – write a realistic budget based on the above – and, fourth?

As far as what matters? This is not inclusive – it’s a starter list.

  • Pray
  • go to church and be glad you can
  • kiss your wife
  • don’t look at porn
  • ruffle your kids’ hair, but don’t buy them an Xbox
  • Play chess with your son more than one game
  • read your Bible
  • tithe
  • help someone who’s down on their luck
  •  get over your 401k’s devaluation.

If you MUST have a media fix, try breaking out your family videos you shot with that expensive camcorder you just had to have back in ’97. Now, actually WATCH them (instead of American Idol, UFO hunter and those idiotic “reality” shows). Your life is infinitely more interesting because it is real…just find the reality in your own life.

After you finish watching those videos, call your mother!

This Saturday, wax your car instead of buying a new one. (Waxing = the nearly lost art of restoring the thrill you felt when you first got that car you’re now routinely taking for granted.)

…..and for Heaven’s sake, slow down and smell the flowers! Literally smell them, I mean bend over and actually inhale until you detect savor and appreciate the actual scent of an actual blooming flower. Tip: You can do that when you actually take a walk.

Of course, during a walk you move something besides your fingers on a keyboard, so you’ll get tired and even actually hungry…not conceptual, “It’s five and so it’s time to eat” hungry, but actual detectible hunger pangs. Hunger Pangs - A novel concept regularly experienced by about nine-hundred million people worldwide every day. Try it! You’ll find that you are much more thankful that they are basically still optional for you, Mr. And Mrs. America.

When you get hungry, eat more rice around a family table with those you love and who love you.

Finally, go to bed early and be content at God’s provision for you.

Oh, by the way? Starbucks in not in the Constitution! You can still boil water and make your very own cup of coffee all by yourself.

Finally, pay off your debts as you can, stop incurring new ones, and quit spending all your time blogging!

Now, get back to work.


Phoebe said...

Love it!!!

Although, I must say we're huge American Idol fans - particularly this season since a Conway boy is on there! And I know someone who knows him, which is even cooler!

Aaron said...

We'll keep watching too. :)