What About What ISN’T Happening?
I find myself somewhat mesmerized by the media’s efforts to constantly keep us on edge.
The headlines about the virus, the shutdown, the economic damage – the underlying thread remains: Be afraid.
It reminds me of when I was younger.
There was this guy on the trading floor who constantly smoked a cigar (back when you could do that inside) and always seemed to have some sage piece of advice at the end of each Friday. One in particular stands out: "Make sure to watch for what doesn't happen...when it 'should'...
If think about all the terrible things unfolding today - letting go of all the related conspiracy theory stuff for a moment - it seems pretty obvious what "should" be happening.
The market should be in the tank.
But they’re not.
After all, 40 million unemployed in the US. Skyrocketing debt. Entire industries living on and paying their costs on debt issuance to build a bridge to a point in the future when we imagine the world gets better (travel, cruises, airlines, hotels, conferences, restaurants, etc.).
You get the drift.
And I can’t count the number of times the word "unprecedented" has been used in the last 90 days. It seems to have lost its meaning.
But what about what isn't happening?
The world is not falling apart.
Sure, it’s changing, adapting, and overcoming.
And the market is telling you something different about the future - vastly different than the one we see now.
My point is this: Until science beats this illness - and it will - people will adapt.
Virus or no virus, the disruptions in business and various parts of all of society have merely been sped up as events unfolded. It was already coming anyway.
And if we look back in order to look forward, we might pick up a lesson or two about how things tend to work themselves out.
In the 1970s the Baby Boomer generation saw marches on campuses. Flags were being burned. Unrest was covered on all three media channels (for 30 minutes a day in the evening).
Today, it’s covered every second of every day.
Back in the early 1980s there were two ways of seeing things:
- You could have focused on the 15%+ mortgage rates, the "end of the dollar", a coming inflationary firestorm which would "ruin the country", political unrest not seen in decades, the terrible 10% unemployment rate with all the young kids (Boomers at the time) going empty on the jobs outlook thanks to the recession, or
- You could have focused on the future and what all those people would do with their lives just by growing up and building - as we all do.
Folks, we basically have the very same choice again today…only on steroids.
And just like the early 1980s, the surprises remain to the upside.
Imagine - just as was headed our way in 1981 - what great things, new tools, life-changing services - all coming our way in the world of technology - that we don't yet see.
Try very hard to look beyond the mess, the sadness, the angst, the pain of the elements unfolding today.
I have a hunch that we will find, from say Christmas time and on through Q1 of next year, hospitals will once again be overwhelmingly busy…
With children being born.