It may not have been as devastating as the Great Depression, but the recession of 2008 changed a lot of lives, in many cases, not for the better.
As New York Times columnist David Brooks writes, after such a change, “a certain number of people are dispossessed. They lose identity, self-respect and hope.
“They begin to base their sense of self-worth on their tribe, not their behavior,” he continues.
“They become mired in their resentments, spiraling deeper into the addiction of their own victimology,” he adds.
Brooks discussed this in relation to national politics in a column published July 15, 2016, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
If you were dealt a blow sometime around 2008, or since, you probably can relate.
Perhaps you lost a job, and haven’t been able to find one that pays you anywhere close to the job you lost. Perhaps you lost your house.
You keep hearing that things are getting better. The economy is picking up, say the experts. Yet, you don’t feel it.
You tend to blame people, or things, that really are not to blame. Even the employer who canned you, if that happened to you, probably was forced to.
Bear this in mind: blaming takes valuable energy away from solving the problem at hand.
Blaming is also easy. Solving the problem may be more difficult.
You may also hear that employers WANT to hire more people now. Yet, you are not among those they are looking for.
An example might be that police forces and the military are looking for new recruits. But you might not be the best candidate for that because, for example, you are too old. Even if you are the right age, perhaps you are not in the kind of physical shape to deal with the rigors of the job.
Perhaps you’ve just graduated college, with a good bit of debt, but employers want something more than just your raw brain to train. They want built-in expertise that you don’t have.
Therefore, you feel you have nowhere to turn. The natural instinct is to blame.
However, there are many ways out there to take your problem into your own hands, and help others do the same. For one of the best, visit
The economy is going through a transition to the information age. As Brooks points out, it went through something similar in the 1880s, when it transitioned from an agriculture base to an industrial base.
“America still has great resources at the local and social level,” Brooks writes. He believes local is more powerful.
When a natural disaster befalls us, we must decide to rebuild or move. The choice is clearly in our hands. In this era, we have choices. The choice to be a victim is not healthy. The choice to take matters into our own hands, perhaps with the help of great local resources, is preferable.
Doing so may mean changing what you did, and how you did it, or getting used to something new, different and, at least at first, uncomfortable. But it can be done if you just look for the right vehicle for you.
If you have the urge to blame, remember this: You can’t embrace what is gone forever. But it can help you embrace what comes next.

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