I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.—Mark Twain
In these tough economic times, it’s too easy to create worst-case scenarios and then start believing they will actually become our reality.
Too many leaders of nonprofit organizations ask, “What if our contributions dry up?” Then they make contingency plans to liquidate services core to their mission.
Too many patriotic Americans are manipulated by politicians who rally their base by crying, “The sky is falling.” Confidence and optimism spiral downward.
Too many frustrated workers cling to their miserable jobs because they envision scary scenarios where they might be destitute or homeless. Productivity declines as these hapless employees, paralyzed by fear, forfeit career satisfaction.
We can do better than that. In the coming year I hope that:
- Business leaders will acknowledge the threats they face and then have the courage and the vision to focus on the opportunities awaiting them.
- Elected officials will inspire constituents by talking more about they stand for rather than pandering for votes by talking about what they are fighting against.
- Talented workers will recognize that their greatest risk is taking no risk and that they will empower themselves to use their skills in ways no one could have imagined five years ago.
Sure, dark clouds loom on the horizon, but I challenge you to find a time in history when that was not true. In any situation, we can find something to fear. We can also find reasons for hope and optimism.
I find confidence and comfort in Christ’s words from the Sermon on the Mount when he said,
Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
In other words, don’t worry!