Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Don't Panic

I read Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" many years ago and it is classic British humor. It's about an electronic book that is a traveler's guide for traveling around the Universe. It is a scream. One of the main pieces of advice offered by the "Guide" is "Don't Panic".
I think those are words we should all live by. Things are scary now especially when you take the short view.
If I were retiring today and had to start drawing from my 401k, it would not be a pretty picture.
But if you look at the long view, this too will pass. It's just a blip on the radar.
I think this entire world crisis right now is due mostly to the fact that people are locked into the short view. Not just people, but corporations. A CEO doesn't have much time to show that he is performing. One or two quarters of lackluster performance and he's looking for a new job.
The Japanese, on the other hand, have always taken the long view. During the times when they are retooling and modernizing their technology, they may not make boatloads of money. But investors in those companies understand and are taking the long view too.
Franklin D. Roosevelt said it best when he said "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
I am not afraid. I'm taking the long view. If I have to work a while longer, then so be it. I love this country and I always will. I refuse to panic.

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