Terry Paulson

Pope John XXIII once confessed what I'm sure all of our leaders in Washington are feeling, "Sometimes I awake at night and begin to think about a serious problem and decide that I must tell the Pope about it. Then I wake up completely and remember that I am the Pope!" We expect our leaders to have all the answers and label them as failures if they don't. Fortunately, America is not built on belief in wise kings, but in belief in one another-"We the people" of this great country.

At the 1992 Republican Convention, President Ronald Reagan revealed the secret to his success, "I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears, to your confidence, rather than your doubts." When facing tough times, this leader's rock-solid confidence in Americans came through when he'd speak from the White House: "I'm not taking your time this evening to ask you to trust me. Instead, I ask you to trust yourself. That is what America is all about. It's the power of millions of people like you who will determine what will make America great again."

Today, as an American, you face important choices. Keeping one eye on the stock markets and another on our leaders in Washington, you worry about our future. Your choices will be driven by one of two basic reactions--panic or trust. By panicking and liquidating your savings or investments, you help push even more institutions to the brink. That, in turn, puts more businesses and jobs at risk.

There are no safe havens for your money if America's financial system fails. The money isn't in any vault; money is in motion making capital and payments available to exchange for the products and services we all need. We've been told by our leaders and the media that we're on a precipice of economic calamity. In response, our leaders have begun investing billions of public dollars in addressing the problem, but there's been no quick rally or recovery. Is a great depression the only answer?

Take time today to view on YouTube "The Bailey Building and Loan Bank Run" scene from Frank Capra's classic film, "It's A Wonderful Life." George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, faces citizens who have lost faith in the financial system. In panic, they descend on the bank, demanding cash.

In response to their panic, George explains how loans work: "No, but you... you... you're thinking of this place all wrong. As if I had the money back in a safe. The money's not here. Your money's in Joe's house.(to one of the men)...right next to yours. And in the Kennedy house, and Mrs. Macklin's house, and a hundred others. Why, you're lending them the money to build, and then, they're going to pay it back to you as best they can. Now what are you going to do? Foreclose on them?"

Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

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