As originally seen on FiLife.com, a partner of the Wall Street Journal, in an article by Rahwa Asmerom.
Recessions are no fun!
There are fewer jobs, less money and an evaporating sense of
security. People everywhere are suffering from this recession, but
there is another, more positive side to all this pain and strife.
Dr. Elvira Aletta, clinical psychologist and author of Explore What's Next Now,
has observed how working with less has created a greater appreciation
for ourselves and our communities. After all, even though we have less
money to spend, the things that make life invaluable are still abundant.
Dr. Aletta shares a few thoughts on the constructive outcomes of the recession:
- We are less wasteful. Today, we derive more satisfaction from being clever at saving money through using less, not buying new, going to garage sales, thrift stores and sharing. We think twice before we throw stuff away. In addition to saving money, it's better for the environment.
- We are rethinking gender roles. With men forced out of jobs at higher rates than women we've had to look at how we define ourselves in the world. Traditional roles yield stay at home dads and first time breadwinner moms. While some will resent the new roles and see the change as negative, the more resilient among us will find joy in the opportunity to emotionally and intellectually stretch beyond what we ever thought possible.
- We have re-discovered our communities' resources. I'm not just talking about food kitchens here. Library usage has increased, more people are using public transportation and museum attendance is up!
- We are tapping into our entrepreneurial spirit. Necessity is the mother of invention and how much more necessary does it get than when you are out of a job? Suddenly that twinkle of an idea becomes a life buoy and a business is born. Harvard Business School asserts that although it appears counter-intuitive, an economic downturn is a good time to start a new business.