When thinking about new year’s resolutions for 2010, it feels like we’ve all been making a whole lotta resolutions for some time now. Say, since fall of 2008. One trend that the NYTimes covered today was how Americans are cutting back on spending and beefing up on shared experiences. Families that used to shop together now canoe together. Aww.
My apologies for the sarcasm, but the news is a bit unnerving. It took something as economically catestrophic as the recession to make certain americans snap to-it, in terms of realizing the inherent value of their friends and family??
It’s not just me that values experiences, however. Multiple studies show that experiences actually make people much happier than, say, shiny new posessions. The initial joy of the purchase fades while the memory of the experience does not. So maybe we, as a culture, are oddly enough, on the up-and-up, eh? Better late than never, I suppose.
P.S. In other recession-y news, do check out the below March Madness-style bracket created(and personally filled out) by U of C Sports Economist Allen Sanderson; it takes 64 factors of the recession and pits them against each other for ONE. ULTIMATE. CHAMPION. Each “team” description can also be found on the American Economic Association’s website. What a sweet 16 they make. . .
Dec 28th 2009
IF THE world appears to have escaped relatively unscathed by social unrest in 2009, despite suffering the worst recession since the 1930s, it might just prove the lull before the storm. Despite a tentative global recovery, for many people around the world economic and social conditions will continue to deteriorate in 2010. An estimated 60m people worldwide will lose their jobs. Poverty rates will continue to rise, with 200m people at risk of joining the ranks of those living on less than $2 a day. But poverty alone does not spark unrest—exaggerated income inequalities, poor governance, lack of social provision and ethnic tensions are all elements of the brew that foments unrest.
While I’m curious how the Economist calculated this map, it does make me shiver. With most media focusing on the improvements in the economy, I had thought the world was, slowly, on the up-and-up. Sure, the world economy is a slow moving machine but this map seems to imply WWIII is on its way…thoughts?
Whenever I go on a trip, I think about all the homes I've had and I remember how little has changed about what comforts me.
While in Nebraska, celebrating my second Christmas(the first being in Ireland in 2006), I attended Christmas Eve mass. Filled with song, it was a surprisingly un-religious, religious service. The sermon revolved around the idea of home and how thankful the minister was that he and his congregants had made made it home for Christmas. The rest of the sermon trotted along without adding further discourse to the subject but it did remind me of how the word "home" has always fascinated me.
In high school I was a speech team member and read both verse and original verse poetry(nerd alert: I made it to state my senior year!). One of the original poems I wrote was about the idea of home. What it is. What it isn't.
I recently came across the above quote from Brian Andreas and realized how true it is. You might not know where you will want to live for the rest of your life, I certainly don't. And work or family may force you to uproot yourself. But, discerning what qualities of a home bring you comfort will surely provide infinite value to you.
As for me, as long as I can read a quality news rag on Sunday morning while sipping coffee(or irish tea), I'm home. Perhaps…some jazz quietly lingering in the background.
Check out #5: The Obama Uncertainty Principle.
“In 2008 we asked ourselves what kind of leader would follow the Bush regime. Barack Obama came as an answer in the form of a question. Was his election the high-water moment of America’s relationship with race, or was it the triumph of a post-racial personality? Are we witnessing a liberal philosopher-kingship, the restoration of pragmatism to politics, or just a serving of reheated liberal promises? We still don’t know. Even liberals can’t decide if he’s their greatest champion since FDR or a big bleh.
But maybe uncertainty is the defining idea of the Obama presidency. After eight years when a brash “decider” reigned supreme, we’re learning to live with a president who openly deliberates, who uses speeches to explain the shades of his reasoning, and who truly, visibly doubts: the media, the political system, the world, and America’s role in it. The color of the Obama presidency isn’t actually black or white. It’s gray.”
Pretty excellent analysis, me thinks…except that few seem to be okay with uncertainty. The American public may claim to hate the iron clad fist of Bush and yet, one year into Obama’s presidency, he’s being called a do-nothing and, horror or horror, a Chicago politician for promising empty dreams. Obama’s presidency and, perhaps, all presidency’s should be considered grey while they are in motion. Otherwise, the fight for debate and in it, the fight for justice sours significantly.