Solutions for Self-Reliance

Keeping Your Head When All About You Are Losing Theirs

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We live in turbulent times.  Our world is messed up.

So, it’s natural to get caught up in it, to get depressed or angry by what is going on.

But… if you spend too much time focusing on what’s going wrong, you’ll miss the amazing opportunities that are right in front of you.

Few people have summed this up as well as Rudyard Kipling in his poem “IF” (see entire poem below):

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too….

…….Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it

Here’s an example of what I mean.

A part of current dysfunction is the skyrocketing amount of student debt that’s being accumulated.

It recently topped $1 trillion, and it’s growing faster than ever.  $300 billion was added in the last four years alone as kids across the US scrambled to gain entry into a shrinking middle class.

If that wasn’t bad enough, nobody told these kids that the money they are borrowing to go to school isn’t going to do them any good.

The cubicle jobs that provided entry into the middle class don’t exist anymore and those that are, are on the endangered list.  Why?  The government and corporate bureaucracies that historically provided them are in a secular decline, with no bottom in sight.

So, as our kids continue to borrow money they can’t repay to chase jobs that don’t exist, the educational debt bubble continues to grow.

When it pops, which is inevitable, is likely to create a tidal wave of failure that will ravage the overpriced  US educational system.

Costs there have been rising at five times the rate of inflation for three decades due to easy availability of student debt and the conviction that college was the only way to enter the middle class.

With costs so out of whack and the debt that fueled it about to end, it’s also likely to get VERY messy — from massive cuts in enrollment and staff to widespread college bankruptcies.

The worst part?  The sense of betrayal will be visceral.  At that point it’s going to be pretty clear to everyone that the dreams we’ve been sold are fraudulent.

My fear is that many, if not most, will lose their heads when that happens (as we’ve seen in Spain).

Keeping our Heads

However for those that keep their heads, riots and protests aren’t in the cards.

For many of us, it’s clear that a new economy is possible.  An economy that is human scale and local.  An economy that’s networked and makes sense.

So, as the consumerized and financialized sham we currently have falls apart, we’re making the new opportunity a reality.

We’re building a new economy based on networked resilient communities.  Building it from the ground up.

A human-scale economy that can provide a future that’s prosperous and abundant for everyone that puts in the work necessary to build it, and resilient enough to withstand the inevitable disruptions of a turbulent era.

So, join me.

Join us on this journey.

Spread the word.  Remember:

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs….

…Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

Sincerely,

JOHN ROBB

Here’s the entire poem “IF..” by Rudyard Kipling:

IF

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;

If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

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