What I Learned in Times of Crisis: This Too Shall Pass
When I was 12 years old, my dad was laid off.
Our family had a little bit of savings and the company gave my dad a few extra weeks of severance. So instead of jumping straight into the job hunt, my parents decided to do something completely different…
They borrowed my grandparent’s RV and took us on a trip. We traveled up the East Coast and saw some of our nation’s most beautiful places.
I vividly remember:
- Walking into the room where the Liberty Bell stood
- Looking out over the battlefield at Gettysburg
- Hitting my head on a beam in the USS Constitution, anchored in Boston Harbor
- Watching fog lift off the Niagara Falls
- And paddling in a canoe in one of the hundreds of lakes in Maine.
At the time, I didn’t really grasp the severity of the situation. After all, my dad had just lost his job… and had a wife and kids to take care of!
Now as I look back, I can better appreciate the courage it must have taken.
One night, while sitting around a campfire next to the RV, I remember my mom turning to my dad and saying “this too shall pass.” They both smiled and for some reason that phrase stuck with me.
I’m not sure whether she was referring to the fact that our family was growing up, so they should enjoy this special time, or to the fact that our family’s financial picture would recover.
Either way, there was a lot of truth in what she said.
“This Too Shall Pass”
I’m reminded of that time as the world grapples with the coronavirus spread.
It’s a frightening time in the world right now. Both on a personal level and a financial level.
Things are changing quickly and it’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing on the negatives and the risk, losing sight of how temporary this crisis truly is.
Now, I’m not downplaying the importance of being safe, protecting your loved ones and doing your part to stop the spread of this virus in your community.
But that doesn’t mean we need to accept this environment as the “new reality” for our daily lives or for our finances.
In time, we will get a handle on this crisis.
Our bodies will develop resistance and immunity to the new coronavirus strain. Our medical community will come up with better treatments for those who have coronavirus, and also for keeping new cases from spreading.
And our financial system will recover too.
After all, the American spirit is strong, and our ability to bounce back from challenging situations is second to none.
I truly believe that!
Just look at how our community and our economy bounced back after 9/11, or after the financial crisis in 2008. We’re a country that bands together, supports our loved ones and comes up with a strategic plan for rebuilding even stronger.
I can’t wait to see where we are at the end of the year, looking back on this period and smiling at how we helped each other pull through.
Two Requests For You Today
We’re kicking off a new week that looks a lot different from what we’re used to.
Markets are in turmoil, schools and businesses are closing and our normal lives are very, very different.
So as we walk our way through this period I have two requests from you. One of them has absolutely nothing to do with the market and one of them will help your local economy immensely…
First, instead of panicking today, I’m asking you to take some time to make memories with loved ones.
You may not be able to rent an RV and drive around the country (that probably wouldn’t be a smart decision anyway). But you can have some great conversations with the ones you love.
If you’re living in a house with family nearby, sit down and play a board game. Or maybe do a round of “I remember when…” and have each person share a special memory.
Even if you’re not in the same physical house, you can set up a Skype or Zoom connection, play a game of chess (with a board in both locations), or even just send emails back and forth checking in on loved ones.
This could turn out to be a period that you look back on with fondness!
Second, once this crisis is over and we start to get back to “normal” I’m asking you to support your local businesses.
In your immediate community, there will be shop owners, repairmen, restaurants and plenty of other people who just weathered an extremely challenging period.
Help them out!
Take your family out to eat, or to a locally owned retailer. Help these companies make some extra money so they can make payroll and get back to normal as soon as possible.
This is a much better way of helping our economy recover than any bail out that the government can offer.
Of course, in the meantime it’s important to check in with your neighbors and see what you can do to help.
This is America.
We’re a people of compassion, determination and resilience.
We’re going to get through this together. And come out stronger on the other side.
So don’t let the panic take control. Let’s keep the right perspective and be ready to bounce back once we have this virus under control.
I’ll be back to you later in the week with some thoughts on protecting and growing your wealth.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear what you’re doing with your time this week. Can you send me an email with a picture of you (and maybe your family) and let me know how you’re doing?
You can always reach me at EdgeFeedback@StPaulResearch.com. I look forward to hearing from you!
Here’s to growing and protecting your wealth!