“There must be a positive and negative in everything in the universe in order to complete a circuit or circle, without which there would be no activity, no motion” - John McDonald
“It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed.” - Ram Dass
"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." - Henry Ford
For every negative event in our lives, there can be positive aspects to that event given the choices we make going forward.
I truly believe there are some positive aspects to our current economic recession here in the United States, the main one being a return to a more simple life.
According to Wikipedia, Simple living (voluntary simplicity) is a lifestyle characterized by minimizing the 'more-is-better' pursuit of wealth and consumption. Adherents may choose simple living for a variety of personal reasons, such as spirituality, health, increase in 'quality time' for family and friends, stress reduction, personal taste or frugality.
For the last 25 years, we have been essentially riding the tsunami of wealth that was unleashed under President Ronald Reagan. He knew exactly what taxes needed to be cut and what policies needed to be altered or abandoned in order for the entrepreneurial spirit to be reborn in this country.
Unfortunately, since we are all fallen creatures, greed, selfishness, and materialism took over the American mindset and we started buying stuff we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like! The American people did not have a solid financial foundation in order to handle all of this wealth. All of us started making really stupid financial decisions based on the assumption that there would always be good times. We were wrong.
Now that we have a downturn in our economy, the pendulum has swung over to the opposite extreme where people are living frugally, saving cash, dumping debt, and fearful of spending money. Although I believe the majority of these changes have been made out of fear, there have have been positive changes in a return to a more simple financial mindset, which I will address in Part 2 of The Simple Life. Stay tuned.