Finding Promise in an Unpromising World

Sep 24th, 2008 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Now what? Recent weeks have laid a heavy load on many older and retired persons across this country. The horrendous storms which began off the coast in the Gulf and in Florida and then traversed through the Midwest and points in the north and northeast left scars and pain all along the way.

The Stock Market trembled and is still shaking, leaving many now retired, and some yet to be, anxious about their economics and frail in their hopes for some kind of assurance and security.

So it is not surprising that a simple two word question, “Now what?” leaps from our lips. Certainty is not very certain these days. Security, a word used by politicians, sounds dry and unpromising. We would like to have the calming confidence that someone, somehow, some way could bring about a national sense of honor and duty and responsibility. Wouldn’t it be great to experience the sense of what a warm handshake once communicated: “you can count on me!”

Now what? Here are my weak suggestions from six decades of living, four of preaching, a lifetime of believing, a great sense of hoping, and a genuine regard for the struggles of life and our ability to overcome them:

First, the Don’ts…..

+Do not panic. Do not act precipitously or anxiously. Use good judgment, but be careful who you trust.

+Do not grab at straws! There will be those out there ready to take advantage of the moment and make it even worse than it may seem, right now.

+Do not bury your savings in a coffee can or hide them under a mattress.

+Do not be uniformed. Keep up with what is going on. Don’t trust the politicians’ formulas, without reading more than the headlines. Stay in touch with your congressperson and Senator.

+Don’t lose sleep. Tomorrow will dawn and the Stock Market will open. Let tomorrow’s concerns be sufficient unto themselves.

Now, for some Dos:

+Do keep your health in reasonable condition. Allow your breathing to be slow and measured. Stay with your exercise regimen. Talk about something other than the crises affecting all of us.

+Do check on persons whom you know to be worriers. Give them a shot of optimism.

+Do listen to and read accounts from other than highly biased commentators and columnists.

+Do watch out for the apocalyptic preachers who are in it for the bad times. They would wish us to believe “it is all over but the shouting.” That is hopeless and faithless garbage.

++Now do something very, very special. If you can, draw your loved ones around you, join in a very close circle or a cluster and hold each other. BE close enough to one another so that you can feel their breath on your face. If they live far away, call them right now or tonight, and let them know how utterly wonderful and special they are. When you have done one or the other or both, you will have taken care of what is really basic and important. Nobody can take that away from us.



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