Advice for Tough Economic Times

By Grant Lawrence

So the economy is collapsing and you may be out of a job. Perhaps you've lost your investments or you never had any investments.

But for those of you still working there is a lot of advice on "how to keep your job." Basically it all boils down to quit complaining, work long hours, and take a pay cut.

There is even advice on how not to feel guilty because you still have a job. It goes something like look at the positives and celebrate your former co-workers leaving. According to these happy smiley face job gurus, it's a natural thing and we all have to do it.

But I have some better advice for those still working, those out of a job, and those that were relying on the performance of their lost investments.

Don't buy into the bull that you are being fed by the mainstream managed media.

I was without a job few times and it is a very tough time. I lost my job a couple of times through no fault of my own and I got really angry and it was a depressing time. I have also seen people laid off even though they worked long and hard. I never celebrated their misery and don't advise you to. I never had much money to invest because when you have 3 kids and big expenses there wasn't much I could afford to invest in. So I can only say that those same smiley faced gurus that are telling you to lay down and accept your fate are the same ones that were preaching the magic of investing a few years back.

So my advice, based on my own and the economic hardships of others, is to try to take advantage of whatever social programs and help that is available to you. Get proactive in working the system. So it is true you are not a bankster or a financier and there is not a lot of money available for you. But talk to a social worker or a counselor in your area. They generally have a lot of resources that they know of and that knowledge can be very helpful.

Get realistic and make moves that will help you now and in the future. If you are working then you may still qualify for some government or charitable program for yourself or your family. If you are not working then you will have plenty of time to look for work but also to look for social resources that might exist. If you are losing your nest egg then see how much you can salvage and seek safety. If you lost your nest egg then take a good hard look at your future and options.

One other bit of advice that I have found tremendously helpful. Realize it is not all about you.

You and I and nearly all of the world are subject to a cruel and inhumane system that is set up to benefit the super rich. When I realized that over 15 years ago now, I took my anger and energy and invested it into trying to do what I could to be a source for real change in the world. I joined progressive groups and causes and I did what I could to make my life a blessing to others as well as myself.

I can tell you that it is that feeling for others and the compassion that I had for the suffering that I saw that helped me through my own hard times. It also helped me to make a number of important changes in my life that have ultimately helped many.

So to sum up my advice on tough times. Don't just lie down and take it. Get up and make moves that will make a difference for yourself, your family, and your world. Be a "We" thinker and not a "Me" thinker and it can make a great deal of difference in your life for the better.

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