Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Possible Gift of this Economic Downturn

I heard a podcast recently of Krista Tippett interviewing Parker Palmer.

Palmer suffered terrible depression in his 40's. His therapist finally said something like, "Parker, is it possible for you to view this as a gift, something that will push you down, down, down, so far down that you finally hit the ground that supports you?"

In the interview and in Tippett's subsequent comments, this is likened to American's current economic downturn.

America, could it be that these tough times could be the gift that pushes us down to the very Ground that supports us?


INTPanentheist said...

That makes sense to me - however, at the same time, I also find it reminds me of one of my favorite literary quotes.

"Real happiness oft pales in comparison to mere alleviations of misery." Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

I don't think that's what it's implying, but I do find that, during depressions, whether economic (and people go through personal economic hard times regardless of the greater picture) or emotional, the things that reduce the misery can be greatly exaggerated in their healing power as compared to the way they would be perceived during a time of normalcy or prosperity.

Not that I think that's a bad thing. It sure makes you appreciate how good the little things are. I just find the parallel (especially when considering the nature of Brave New World interesting.

Katherine E. said...

They are interesting, INTP. Thanks

Paula said...

I really love this post; I know that we are all beginning to see things differently with the changes in the economy. If nothing else, I feel it may force us to deal with the environmental issues that are so pressing. I hope that the downturn will be the gift that makes us deal with the Ground, and the Earth that we call home.

Jennifer said...

A rich thought, indeed. Thanks, as always, Katherine!

RevDrKate said...

I was just musing about a column I need to write for the local paper next week called "Just a Thought" and musing on doing it along these lines....thanks for more mind-food.