I have written before that I learned everything I needed to know from showtunes. I'd like to ammend that slightly and add classic movies.
As the world seems to go crazy around us, I think of this great exchange from "It's a Wonderful Life." Mr. Potter, the banker, and George Bailey are chatting about their past history and there is this great line.
"POTTER: Take during the depression, for instance. You and I were the only ones that kept our heads. You saved the Building and Loan, and I saved all the rest."
I like that because it highlights an important fact. At one point, the Great Depression was a terrible reality. But it passed and things got normal again. The world didn't end. Just as previous recessions did. Just as World War I. And the Civil War. And the bank panics of the 1800s. And so on. Life goes on.
I'm not being Pollyanna. But problems are rarely solved by panicking and freaking out. Keeping one's head is a good thing.
I love this poster that my good friends the Brits printed during WWII--another time that certainly looked a bit bleak. Keep in mind this is plastered on walls while there are air raids being conducted and rumors of an imminent invasion.
Perhaps this S&P credit rating downgrade is the END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT. Be calm. If it is not the end of the world, then we will come out better for not having freaked out. It if is the end of the world then it won't really matter and at least we will all meet the end in a much more pleasant and civilized way.
Keep calm and carry on. Yes. Just so. Quite.
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