These aren’t difficult times.
Things aren’t uncertain.
A very small percent of Americans are truly facing uncertainty, difficulty or danger.
The truth is these may be uncomfortable times. Perhaps frustrating times. Maybe even disappointing times.
It may seem that everywhere around us people are losing hope, motivation and aspiration. Depending on what information, news, and social media sources you subscribe to, the doom and gloom is ever-present.
We’re at a time where we face more opportunities now than ever before in the history of mankind. We have more choices, freedoms and liberty as American’s than any other humans on the face of the earth.
There isn’t a single task or challenge that we can’t overcome, individually or collectively.
A simple glance at American history proves these times aren’t difficult.
Students entering college as freshmen this year were born after the horrific tragedies of 9/11. All they’ve known in their lifetime is war and conflict. Thousands of soldiers started and retired from their military careers during this time. Many others lost their legs, arms and many others lost their lives.
Today’s college freshmen were also entering their teen years when the housing market crashed and millions of people lost their jobs, homes and fortunes.
My generation faced Y2K during our college years and new pandemic scares practically every year since.
Not a year goes by that natural disasters, sickness, poverty and tragedies don’t rival the combined previous years.
Putting things in perspective, all that we face today is relative to the things that our ancestors faced in their times.
We’ve faced wars and military conflict for the entire existence of the United States (and before).
We’ve faced plagues, viruses and sickness with significant death tolls.
We’ve watched our markets crash many times sending even the wealthy to soup lines.
We’ve faced pioneer and settlement eras where food and shelter were derived from labor and luck.
We have faced racism, sexism, ethnocentrism and all of the other isms before.
We’ve faced periods of war requiring implementation of the draft, tearing families apart only to return flag-draped caskets.
We’ve faced political uprising, distress, disappointment before.
We’ve watched businesses close, industries shut down and institutions become obsolete.
However, in the midst of all of this, we American entrepreneurial spirit always prevails.
We continue to find new medicines, cures and prevention methods.
We continue to start new businesses, evolving technology and improve industries.
We continue to improve access to and understanding of information and knowledge.
We always find ways to innovate and improve political ideals and nurture new leaders.
We have more tools, treatments and therapies to help us stay healthy than ever before.
There are indeed people that are facing difficult times right now. They are no doubt facing uncertainty. There are many that are experiencing fear in the face of real danger.
What is also clear is they don’t have to. The collective knowledge, abilities and resources of all of us can help them through all of that. We can do this quickly and permanently.
With all that is going on, I prefer to choose hope and optimism over desperation and fear.
When all is said and done, I can’t control those things that happen to me, I can only control how I respond.