Terry Paulson

Still giving in to their panic, many considered settling by taking pennies on the dollar for their deposits from a competing bank, Mary, George's new bride, holding up their honeymoon money, shouts, "How much do you need?" The depositors turned around and, together, chose to keep their deposits in the Bailey Building and Loan taking only what they needed until stability could return. The institution and the people who invested in it survived by choosing to trust and by living out their shared commitment to the common good of the community.

Washington politicians can't turn this alone. If Americans don't believe in the future we can create together, it'll keep falling. Washington can print the money, but we're the ones who give it value by our actions and economic decisions.

No matter what the politicians and pundits warn, there's much to value! Money is still being used to buy goods and services. Selective loans are being made by many smaller banks. People with the right skills are still being hired by companies taking advantage of market opportunities.

Don't panic; act with confidence instead of fear. Invest your worry in constructive action. Keep working. If out of work, instead of resting in outdated skills, refocus and retool to compete for available jobs or start your own small company. Keep spending on what is necessary. Invest in companies that you still believe will succeed. Save more of what you earn and help your neighbors where you can.

FDR words again ring true, "The only thing to fear is fear itself." We're a resilient people whose optimism has been earned from over 230 years of overcoming obstacles and challenges. As Dennis Prager often suggests, take a coin from your pocket or purse and look at the three core values that define America: "Liberty," "In God We Trust" and "E Pluribus Unum" (out of many one). Today, we must affirm our free-enterprise system and the controls that hold people accountable when they abuse it. We must once again reaffirm our trust in God. Then, we must put that trust into action by resting in God's providence by doing what we can to be part of the answer. God willing, together, we'll be bouncing back from this like we have from past challenges. This is our time to live our trust, not panic.

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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