What this Time of Crisis May Germinate

One of my favorite theories of adult developmental is the theory of positive disintegration. The original theorist, Kazimierzc Dabrowski, who lived and practiced during the Nazi invasion of Poland, observed that during historic crises some people rise to heightened levels of human development, whereas some devolve to lower levels. I have 100 percent faith that you and my other dear readers are among the first camp.

Major crises like the one we are living through now impact the course of human development.

Perhaps you already feel your heart bursting, as I do, with compassion for those being most impacted by the devastating impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on global and local economies.

My heart goes out to those dependent on an hourly wage. I worked my way through my bachelor and master’s degrees waiting on tables, tending bar, and cooking in restaurants. I know what it’s like as the parent of a young child to roll my pennies when the bank balance runs dry.

My heart aches for those who live at baseline. And, mostly, I am deeply grateful for the financial resources I do have. For me, money has always represented having freedom and options. I am happier when I have it and more stressed when I don’t. I guess that makes me part of the human race, at least within the social milieu of the US.

My dear friend Alem grew up in an Ethiopian village in a hut with dirt floors. When he was a young child, his father and grandfather, and many others in his village, were hung in the public square for their role in resisting Mussolini’s invading forces. He survived foreign invasions and war and never felt a lack of love and support or national pride because community drew together, in the worst and best of times.

I hope the upside of this downside is that we each rise to a higher level of humanity individually and collectively, and that our hearts burst with compassion for others. There but for the grace of God (and my dear ones, this wonderful community of financial advisors and friends, and many kind and generous strangers) am I.

May we all be well and kind as we move through the current crisis and beyond.

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