The news is filled with gloom. The media loves reporting on the economic malaise. Headlines of big job layoffs at big companies obscure the fact that most job creation takes place in small businesses and most businesses are small. The small business world is down a little but just a little, nothing like that of big business.
I write all this because I want to place the economy in perspective as I suggest we pay a little more attention to ourselves. In fact, many laid off people are using the opportunity to start a new business, to be their own boss – a silver lining not talked about by most of the media. I am not insensitive to the downturn or the fact that many of us are affected. I just want to remind us that it is not all bad and that paying attention to ourselves is not selfish. To that end . . .
Kristi, my good and wonderful and talented wife, teaches at the John C. Campbell Folk School in western North Carolina. We love the place, in part, because the experience there is so much like the experience we have on our trips to Italy. It combines a retreat setting, with a wonderful learning experience, and the joys of meeting new people with common interests, developing new friendships. It provides perspective on life and it brings out our latent talents, interests, and will to build on what we know and love.
The Folk School has a newsletter. Recently in talking about new year’s resolutions it said the following. “This year, I will spend more time for myself. I will learn a new craft. I will take my craft to a new level. I will appreciate and learn more about hand-made objects. I will strive to be more self-sufficient. I will dance more. I will surround myself with music and laughter.”
This is beautiful, meaningful, and good advice. We all have the chance to do just what the School suggests. Whether we are directly affected by the economic downturn or not, it’s occurence and prevalence in the news, provides the chance for each of us to consider, not self-indulgence, but self-development. It provides the opportunity to begin to consider how to fill our potential. It is a very real opportunity to devlop ourselves, which, ultimately will enable us to give to the world that which we are uniquely able to give. Here’s to our self-development!