"The other side of the story."
"Two sides to every coin."
"Black and white."
Common phrases we have all heard and uttered throughout our lives. What about the shades of grey? What about the space between those two visible sides of the coin?
So often as we travel through our daily adventures we focus on the ends of the spectrum. The best outcome if we're hopeful, the worst if we're fearful. Think about how often either one of those things comes to fruition. More often than not, what actually happens is some combination of the two, something more along the lines of a 5 or 6 on a scale of 1 to 10. Yet, we still continue to hope for the tens and expect or dread the ones.
GW Bush has preyed on our insecurities for the last eight years of his presidency. He has attempted to motivate Americans by scaring the sh*t out of them time and time again. As recently as ten days ago he was warning us that if Congress didn't pass the bailout deal there would be "dire consequences." Now that it has passed and the economy hasn't rebounded the way he had hoped, he is attempting to do something he is not quite so versed at: calming fears.
I spoke with a man the other day who is terribly concerned about the economy. Although he is currently sitting well financially, he is worried that if things don't turn around soon he and his family will run out of cash assets and be forced to "start all over." My response:
The most frightening three years of my life were when Bubba was sick with his mystery illness and I thought I was going to lose him. I am willing to give up my kids' extracurricular activities to save money. I am willing to sell our house and move to a smaller one or rent for a while if we need to hoard some cash. I don't care if we find ourselves living in the minivan or a tent in the park so long as we are together. We have family and friends who love us and whom we love. If we all band together, we can find a way to get through.
His response, "I don't see anything as drastic as that happening!"
Well then, what are you worried about?
He followed up with, "And I'd move in with my mother-in-law before I'd let my family live in a tent."
Perspective. What a beautiful thing. There are other colors in the rainbow besides the ones at either end.