I am lucky, so very lucky.
I have known poverty (in the developed nation sense), and I have battled through many of the hardships that come with that poverty.
I have detached myself for the most part from the excessive materialism that is rampant in society. The kind of materialism that advertises social (or feigned) status.
I have simplified my life--albeit not enough in my opinion--and am comfortable and love living this way.
I have started to learn skills that are vital in a self-sufficent lifestyle.
I have an excellent community of people around me who are working to make our community more self-reliant. These people share knowledge, skills, experience, and new ideas so we can achieve that. No one is an island 'round here.
I have an amazing and loving partner who is on the same page as me. He is astute, informed, and in many ways keeps me afloat.
I am aware.
Above is a list I had written because I was starting to feel a real sense of despair about all that is going on right now with the economy and the like. Which I found a bit odd since this situation didn't really come as a surprise to me.
The better half is keen on keeping track of the markets, economic policies and their social impacts. He started talking about all of this stuff ages ago, perhaps at the risk of looking like he needed a tinfoil hat...but here we are.
So benefitting from his own research, and me pursuing my own to fulfill my own curiousities in areas that interest me, I saw this coming. Perhaps this despair is coming from the fact that no one really knows how bad it's going to get, not even the world's top economists.
We do of course have talking heads and politicians saying that this isn't 'so bad', that 'we will have a 'swift recovery' and 'be stronger than ever', but even they have to admit that we are in uncharted waters.
It seems for the last few years that the whole world (including the so-called 'immune' developed countries), have been jumping from one crisis to another; from war, petroleum, food, now to this.
So, anyways, back to this list.
If you are feeling this same despair, you might find making a list like this yourself helpful. Try writing out your own list highlighting what you have on your side in the here and now, and how you can apply that in a practical manner to help you and your loved ones get through this. It may also be a good way to remind oneself what we have to be thankful for!
It is a good place to start, and you can launch yourself into action from there. And I highly recommend action and looking at the potential outcomes, opposed to keeping one's head comfortably buried in the sand.
As scary as this all is, I don't want things to continue the way the have been. We have an opportunity here to have something so much better, and more just.
Below are some videos that you might find helpful for ideas, inspiration, as well as a balm for that despair.
Permaculture & Peak Oil: Beyond 'Sustainability'
These are from Peak Moment. They have so many great videos, but these are probably the most relevant to this particular post.
A Defining Moment in History
Living Within the Natural Economy
Local Currencies - Replacing Scarcity with Trust
Sustainable Connections - Transforming a Community
Economic Localization - A Community Rediscovering Itself
Learning From the Collapse of Earlier Societies
Calm Before the Storm
Looking at The Big Moral Question