Written by Lee Stoerzinger, CFP®
As a student of history, it’s been interesting to watch our societal progression over the past few months. We started early in the year with great uncertainty and the possibility of a global pandemic. Soon, it became a reality as we literally watched the world close around us. In the meantime, global markets and economies crashed. We were forced to stay home and adapt to a totally new way of life; something we wouldn’t have believed six months ago.
Today, while all of this continues, it seems we have entered another phase in the process: restlessness, adaptation, and bubbling creativity as we find new ways to communicate. This is all happening in the backdrop of severe illness across the globe. The words “I can’t wait until things return to normal” seem to be echoed everywhere. But is that truly what we really want? Normal?
On 12-31-2019, we had many things to be thankful for in this world. Many things. However, if we are honest with ourselves, maybe we could identify some areas that encourage more open dialogue. From larger things like civil discourse, personal rights and economic dependency, to more personal items like family circumstances and how we choose to spend our private time, they have all been brought into the light. Our everyday habits have been severely interrupted and some may never return. This could certainly cause a pining for what we know as normalcy. However, while many will stew on the fact that we are in a “great dislocation” (and we certainly are) and list the reasons why life is now officially terrible, I believe in the midst of it all, we are being offered the opportunity of our lifetimes to make a new world.
I think the easiest way to explain this global opportunity we have been given is to start with some solid questions. For example, what do we want from the companies we invest in and rely on for our monthly retirement income? Is it our political leaders that we wish to rely on in times of crisis? What things are we “prepared” for in our lives, and what are we not? Is our economic system working the best it can - for everyone? Are we good with our current food distribution system? What do we want our present moments to look like? You get the picture. How can we shed some of the misaligned rules we currently live by, truly break free and take it to the next level? What are we willing to ask ourselves and what are we willing to do about it?
A global virus caused much of the entire world to shut down. Are there any other things in our lives we should do this for but we have a hard time seeing them because they have become normal?
When all of this is over, we are definitely going to need some big brooms to sweep away what once was, including our tears from those we have lost. Hopefully we will capture in the rubble all that made us who we are and combine it with what we truly wish to become.