Getting Through Crisis

As I write this, the financial markets around the world are being shaken. The United States saw the disappearance of two of the world's largest institutional banks. In the last 24 hours, Lehman Brothers announced the filing for bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch was bought out. These events send shock waves throughout the financial community, with many fearing the fallout.

It is safe to say this is a crisis. How much each person is affected will obviously vary. For those who were employed at Lehman, this is a disaster. Others such as those seeking a loan will also suffer since it is anticipated that credit will now be tighter than before.

What can we do to weather a crisis? Here are three things that one can do to change the outlook that typically comes from such events.

1. Empathy

Feel some compassion for your fellow man. There are many who are being destroyed by this situation. I watch a newscast last night where people who worked at Lehman were interviewed. These people are now unemployed. If you have a job this morning, you are in better shape. Also, some of the younger employees were feeling for the older ones who had a lot more invested in the firm. For the most part, these people are wiped out. Feeling empathy for the plight of others helps to remove the focus off ourselves.

2. Be grateful

This is similar to the last one for the same reason: there is always someone who is affected worse by this than you. Even those who lost it all can find solace in the fact that they are still able to work. Also, Wall Street is in chaos, yet all those people have a roof over their head at the present time. The same cannot be said for those in Texas. Again, there is always something to be grateful for. Dwelling upon what you have will aid you in overcoming the mishaps that are happening.

3. Persevere

Persistence is one of man's greatest qualities. The media will make it to be the end of the world. It is not. The sun is going to come up tomorrow. It is time to begin the rebuilding. Those involved will overcome this. A few years ago we were hit hard in Florida with hurricanes. In the three years since, all was rebuilt. The same will happen in Texas and in the lives of those on Wall Street. This will be just a bad memory for most of those affected a year from now.

Life offers up hard challenges at times. It is how we handle them which determines the quality of our life. Focus on what you still have while looking towards a brighter tomorrow. This is how we get past these catastrophic situations.
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