Is There A Silver Lining?

by Charlie Phillips

Recently, I was listening to a conversation among some friends and they were talking about how bad the economy is. Listening to them, the theme was that we were doomed and there was no way things could be turned around. All I heard was how bad things were going to get.

Now, I’m not so naïve that I have not observed that most, if not all, indicators are not very promising. There is an Indian proverb that says, “Trust in God, but row away from the rocks.” What it looks like to me is that a great many people are looking more for the rocks than for clear water. Another analogy I thought of was, instead of looking for a silver lining in the cloud they are looking for the cloud in the silver lining.

What I find amazing is that most of the people that I hear all this negativity from, if asked, would profess to be Christians. If you look in the Bible it says to: “ask and it shall be given…”; so just what is it we are asking for? The movie, “The Secret”, says that what you think about, you bring about. I heard someone once say that quote in the Bible about asking should have said, “…ask with intelligence”. “The Secret” adds another dimension: it says, “Ask, Believe and Receive”. No matter which one you want to go with, when we are talking about how bad things are going to be, that is what we are trying to attract.

Now, I don’t believe there is going to be some white horse riding in on a prince that is going to save us. If there is to be any change in the direction we seem to be heading it’s going to have to come from within us. We have to change our outlook; instead of looking for how bad things are going to get, why not focus on the positive and how we can turn it around? There is a quote, I believe it’s from “The Secret”, and that is, “It’s not my job to change the world.” I am just one person, so what can I do? Well, start off by looking at yourself and your attitude. Are you like that guy in the comics that walks around with that cloud hanging over your head? If so, then you are part of the problem. Let’s change that cloud to sunshine! As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Of course, that is easier said than done. Looking around, we see a housing bubble about to pop, if it hasn’t already, and we are involved in a war of aggression in a country that never attacked us. Then there is the sub-prime mortgage mess. The list goes on and it’s easy to blame the government, but isn’t this government “of the people and by the people”? So when you’re pointing your finger at the culprit, you’re pointing three fingers back at yourself. We allowed this to happen so it’s time to change our outlook. Let’s begin by taking responsibility for ourselves and stop looking to someone else to solve our problems.

There are always going to be times when we need help, but instead of looking for help from some government agency, look instead to family, friends or neighbors. Not that many years ago it would be a barn raising and all friends, family and neighbors would come to help. I think it’s time to go back to those customs.

Is it possible? The answer to that is within us. Are you going to be a part of the problem or a part of the solution? Are you going to hang onto that cloud or maybe it’s that security blanket like another comic strip character used to drag around? The first step is to start standing on your own two feet. Next, start looking for that silver lining instead of the cloud. As Aristotle said, “Happiness depends upon ourselves.” I can’t speak for you, but as for me I would rather look for that silver lining.



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