A hearty ‘Thank You’ to all with whom I met during my recent sojourn in the Sunny Sate of California. 34 families and friends gave me time to visit, to discuss personal financial concerns and to listen. Here are a few perspectives from the visit.
Spring is the best time of year. Southern California truly comes into her own during these beautiful months. Green is the abundant color, under warming blue skies. After the cool and wet of winter, you each appreciated the arrival of spring and its new growth. Fortunate are we who live in such a marvelous land. The arboreal forest within which I live is coming alive more each day. New birdsong. New treetop greenery. New chthonic sprouts.
Politics was a universal question. “How will the elections impact my portfolio?” You all know my response. “My crystal ball remains as black as ever. I have no idea what the future will bring.” I learned from mistakes of my winter visit not to ‘visit upon you’ my own political views. Our relationship is professional and friendly. I shall try to avoid sharing my political opinions forever forward! Having said that, I do feel the entertainment industry has much to learn from the political industry – and that until the conventions are over and the serious campaigning begins, my world of economics and markets will continue to ‘whistle past the graveyard’… When we visit again in August perhaps the whistling will change to – who knows what. Certainly not me.
A third observation: there is a growing disparity between those of us raised in the 1950s – 1970s and our children and grandchildren. Our views differ. Our lives differ. Our concerns differ. Perhaps it is a result of my professional world. I only work with financially successful families. (Like it or not, virtually all of you are in the 1% group!). We underwent the rigors of education, training, religion, patriotism, financial responsibility and community support. These moral devices set our course. Other compasses seem more important today. There is an expectation. The extended hand demands rather than offers. Teaching is about what to think rather than how to think.
As a result, a climate of fear pervades. Nothing wrong with fear. We are mammals living on a vicious planet with enemies fanged and furious. Yet we seem to be more fanged and furious against our species than against others. Frankly, having seen polar bears and lions and elephants and whales ‘up close and personal’, I prefer humans. Every one of these beasts would destroy us in a heartbeat (yes, even whales) and enjoy the meal. Cannibals and communists excepted, that is not the case with humans.
We do seem intent upon self destruction. Of the species. Our sins grow far faster than our extirpations. Yet humanity is better situated today than ever in its tumultuous history.
The growth in world population is rapidly slowing (it should stop altogether before my centenary in 2048).
Fewer of our species are at risk of starvation, malnutrition or early death.
More humans have a greater array of ‘human rights’.
Health, education, voting rights, personal property ownership, political voice, environmental awareness and religious freedoms have each expanded.
These have expanded more during our lifetimes than at any time previous.
Ask yourself, when you make a decision, is this good – or because I am afraid. Go ahead, I’ll wait…
Did you ‘give yourself permission’ today to simply look at the forest, the mountains, the ocean and see without prejudice?
Did you call someone or email them just for the joy of talking and listening?
When you speak with another, how much time do you spend talking? How much time do you spend listening?
There are no wrong answers here. The point of the exercise is perspective.
Step outside the climate of fear that seems to pervade and see with different eyes.
Give thanks – to you family, your friends, your nation or your God, as you choose.
Those of you who have known me for decades can see my rant a mile away.
Or simply thankful for the Joy of Spring. Of friends. Of family.
I abjure fear. I enjoy facts. Love does not conquer all – but it ruins the day for those who fear!
Love with abandon!