Economic reports for the week
The news of the week is the growing fear of sovereign default in Mediterranean countries and the possibility of a double dip recession. I spent the morning reading up the economic commentaries and turning them into plain English. As far as I understand what I read, our way of life is in supreme danger of falling apart.
We cannot afford to carry on the way we are. We don’t have the money. And the price of borrowing is likely to go up unless we can show clearly how we will pay back what we want to borrow.
The politicians are in a conundrum. They want to defend Britain’s triple AAA rating. And to do that they must achieve two goals.
#1 They must show on paper that we can pay back the money we borrow.
#2 They must show money-lenders that the people are behind them and won’t erupt in open revolt.
We need a plan on paper but it matters naught if we do not stand together. It matters naught if we are each trying to position ourselves to win out during the inevitable decline. The money-lenders are watching us. Our very division will be our downfall.
Finding the will to stand together
So as ever, the issue is neither financial nor economic. It is social & political. How can we find the will to stand together? How can we keep our heads when others are losing theirs? How can we develop the collective trust to work out how to get through the next ten years?
Positive psychology in hard times
This is just the kind of problem that positive psychology deals with.
We want to know how the ordinary person, you and me, can exercise personal leadership when we don’t have confidence that formal leaders will exercise the leadership we need. We want to know how to act sensibily when we really have no idea how things will work out. We certainly want to act in the common good without being totally irresponsible about our own futures and the futures of our families.
3 steps for citizen leadership during the financial crisis
I’ve tried to distill the advice of positive psychologists into three steps. What do you think?
#1 Keep our eye on people we respect. Fill our minds with what does work and not with what doesn’t.
#2 Tell the stories of what does work. Bring the best of the past with us.
#3 Layout out the things we do understand so that other people can understand the issues. And help others who do not have the skill to layout knowledge in their area.
Is this the way to live positively in times which seem to call out the negative, conniving and complacent? Is this the foundation of citizen leadership?