Monday, January 30, 2017

When the dust settles

In 9 years when I wrap up this financial experiment, where will I be?

I have a plan and I have good intentions so all will be okay right?

Errrrr...no - not exactly.  

Each day, week, month I need to be moving towards my goals.  My actions need to reflect not only who I am (know thyself!) but also my desires and plans and hopes for the future.

I need to reflect on my actions, on my thoughts (buy! buy! buy!) as well as continuously tweak to do my very best to hit my goals.

None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes.  It is always easy to do with money.  But absent anything kray-kray, I'm pretty sure that at the end of these 9 years I can look back and be proud of what I have consistently tried to do.

How about you?  At the end of this year where will you stand?  Will you be proud of your accomplishments?  Will you be proud of your thoughts and actions?

It's an interesting question that is relevant to our finances, our goals and our lives.  Those who fuck up are usually vilified in some way and rightly so.  (Note:  Having to take a huge step down in retirement pretty much sucks and yes you will hate yourself when it happens.)

We all have the benefit of history and other people's mistakes or misdeeds (or evil deeds).  Facts about what has happened previously exist and are out there for a reason - to prevent people from screwing up.

Banning people based on religion sounds familiar because it is a form of targeting people based on religion (we should all know that this has happened before and it NEVER turns out well).

It leads to hatred and violence.  It leads to acceptance of hatred and violence by too many.  We need only look to the Muslims that were killed or hurt in the mosque attack in Canada.  This is very very reminiscent of the attack in the church in South Carolina.  Color of skin, religion...The timing of this horrible tragedy in Canada is not surprising.

I used to travel for work with a young man who was Muslim and whose parents were born in another country.  Several of us would be traveling typically but while we would usually be traveling on the same day, we would often be on different flights.  Still we were at the airport together often enough.

This young man was stopped every single time.  Not just stopped and searched but taken into another room.  Every single time.  He had a good attitude about the horribleness of it.  Me, not so much.  I would panic each time it happened.  All you needed is some *cowboy* from CBP that didn't want to follow instructions and who didn't care that you were respectful and here legally.  I cannot imagine what it was like to be him or to be his parents.  Every single trip I always made sure someone was on his flight - this way at least a co-worker could alert the company if he didn't get released in time for his flight.

And today I am observing two men at my office who have to work with each other but now can barely tolerate each other.  Let's call them Bill and Sam.  Bill voted for Twump; Sam voted for Hillary.  Bill kept his support quiet until Twump won and then it was all in your face.  Yes they most certainly did have a very loud confrontation.  

Today, however, Bill could hardly look at Sam.  Bill is white, in his late 50s, makes really good money (and has for about 15 years).  He is close to retiring and was not happy with how the market reacted while under Obama and felt that Trump could really energize things.  Bill's focus was entirely on himself.  For me this is not unusual as a lot of the men I work with are just like Bill and voted for Twump for similar reasons.  But you don't get to cherry pick only the supposed good stuff of candidates and today Bill was faced with having to see and work with Sam, a Muslim who was born in this country (like his parents).  Bill isn't anti-Muslim or racist.  Still he voted for Twump regardless of the campaign Twump ran.  I wonder how soon their next business trip is.

When the dust settles it will be very interesting to see which side people were on and are on.  

I know the majority of the U.S. will be on the right side.  But how large of a majority will we be.  How many of us will stand up and support American values which include diversity and acceptance that this nation includes (and is loved by) people of various races and religions and gender orientations and sexualities?

I hope there will be a lot of people who can look back in a year and be proud.  Sixty million people voted for Twump, a man who includes a fascist in his inner circle of advisors.  Sixty million people didn't care about this.  There is still the possibility that they will change their minds.  Conversely, they may look back when the dust settles and feel proud of their decision.

But as history has shown us at least once, future generations will not look kindly on those who have supported fascists and targeted people based on their religion or skin color.

Pru

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Positive comments are always welcome. Negative comments will be deleted. Selling something - ain't gonna happen. I'm not a financial adviser and you're probably not either. Careful what you recommend.