In the carpool ride into work this morning, I said I was very glad I didn’t live in New York City: the streets will be strewn with suits looking for work. That alone illustrates a difference between now and 1929 when that Crash sent blue-collar workers home with no jobs. But this morning both of the other people in the car – one is a headhunter with an executive search firm and the other works at a major environmental nonprofit – said they are both expecting layoffs to happen within the week or so.
So if the financial storm really is going to hit all of us (let the pundits call it a “deep recession” if that makes them feel better), how do people cope? Since I’m a problem solver by nature, I’m going to devote the next couple of postings to talking about what good things came out of the Depression Era and what lessons from that time apply to our current situation.
One thing that I know personally happens when you lose financially, is that your priorities suddenly become crystal clear. Not surprisingly, the same is true when an actual storm hits and destroys all of your possessions; at least the people you love are safe and alive. This brings me back to the storm metaphor.
One of my sweetest memories of the time just before my dad died was of my sisters, mom and I being in a community-produced musical, Carousel. I got to wear my favorite dress up dress – red with white polka dots and a white bib-like collar – and as a pre-adolescent 11 year old, although I was just on the cusp of feeling self-conscious about a love for old musicals, I didn’t yet reject them as uncool. One of the main songs from the movie is “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Thinking of the lyrics always brings at least a lump to my throat if not tears to my eyes, evoking such a happy time in my childhood. Similar to its use in the movie, I often sang it to myself after my dad had died when I needed comforting.
You’ll Never Walk Alone
When you walk through a storm