Most anyone who reads this blog probably knows I’m not what you call a Pollyanna type.
Not that I’m a pessimist. Far from it. But as we’ve all endured the slings and arrows of the last four years—and especially the last year of Plague—I haven’t exactly been pumping out sonnets.
And God knows there’s precedence for me to see the dark side. Lately I’ve been writing a few little biographical sketches for what might someday be a memoir, and right out of the gate I explained that my first memory is of a nightmare.
So it’s a bit surprising even to me that I got up today and decided to make a case for optimism.
What’s So Great About Now?
Look, I get it: this year isn’t exactly a home run yet.
We’ve still got The Plague, and a long way to go before all the people sane enough to get a vaccine actually get one.
And the economic pain from this virus will continue for a while. Beyond the obvious and tragic loss of life, many have lost jobs, income, or even their homes.
But, just as the first signs of spring in my New England hometown appeared as tiny shoots of green, I’m seeing signs of renewal all around.
1. First, the vaccine numbers and rates of infection are looking pretty good and the rate of new cases is plummeting. That’s great.
2. Second, the stock market—which really does represent an important factor for many working Americans’ retirement prospects—continues to run higher.
3. Third, the prospect of a new stimulus package means more money in the pockets of those who need it most…which means a recovering economy, not to mention fuel for the markets to continue their upward march.
The Inevitable Reckoning
Of course, I’m aware that in the long term, printing more and more fiat currency is not a good thing. As the dollar continues to be devalued, and our national debt spirals higher, you have to wonder where it will all end.
And my optimism is always tempered by concern about the future of the planet—especially with the acceleration of climate change.
Still, the idea that some of the forthcoming stimulus will go toward green jobs and infrastructure gives me a little more hope, at least for this country.
I don’t know where we’re going, but I know where I’ve been and I’ve got a pretty good idea of where we are now. And today, it’s starting to feel like we can breathe a little bit easier.