Eye of the Storm

Here we are in the fifth month of the year 2000. Five months ago we were ringing in a New Year, positive and optimistic about the future. Then why all around is there a sense of bewilderment about this year?

Many of us have our life savings in one way or another tied up in the stock market. The past few months the market doesn’t seem to know which way to go. The promise and optimism of the technology revolution has started to look, at least stockwise, a little shaky. It’s interesting that since the United States Justice Department has put forth its proposal to break up Microsoft, the stock market as a whole is dead in the water. The atmosphere of Silicon Valley has started to become fearful. The questions that are arising are “If they can do this to Microsoft, then who’s next?” Already there are rumblings that Cisco or the new AOL/Time Warner Companies could be considered monopolies too. Then what? The tone on Wall Street, all of a sudden, has turned from “business as usual” to “where does business go from here?” I know, eventually this will all be worked out, hopefully sooner than later. This is not about hating or loving Bill Gates….this is about the atmosphere that is created for the businesses of the world doing commerce together. What we are left with now on both sides of the aisle is Fear.

Whether one is for or against Elian Gonzalez staying here, the picture of a gun being pointed at a child in Miami is chilling. Whether it was necessary or not, it is chilling. The result, once again, is Fear.

In midtown New York City each day is a bus full of senior citizens leaving for a daily excursion to Canada….why would a bus full of senior citizens leave the comfort of their homes to cross the border to another country? Simple answer…to be able to afford to pay for their medical prescriptions. In Canada and Mexico, many medications can be purchased at one-fourth the price. A friend of mine who was recently diagnosed with lymphoma said to me, “Jennifer, I went in for a check-up and the doctor gave me three prescriptions which cost me six hundred dollars, which is not covered here in my country by Medicaid. Jennifer, what if I didn’t have the money?” The result, once again, is Fear.

All around us are these scenarios that affect directly or indirectly our lives. I’m sure you can come up with a few of your own to add. This is not pessimism…this is not an overactive imagination….this is reality. These days many of us feel like we are living in the eye of a storm, while within our dome, things may be calm….but all around us are high winds and uncertainty.
When one is in the eye of a storm, one looks for something to hold onto. A foundation that can withstand any winds. For some people it’s their family and friends, for many it is also their Faith. Fear feeds upon itself. As President Roosevelt once said “We have nothing to Fear but Fear itself.” When we surround ourselves with all that is truly important to us, we can withstand any storm, and we can rebuild.

America isn’t perfect, but She has survived many storms, and She will survive this one. In most cases, once a storm passes, we emerge wiser.

Hold on,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2000 Jennifer Avalon

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