Saturday, 11 October 2008

Dance in the rain

It's been a tough week out there. The financial markets and banking problems have been the centre of attention in all the media, and despite my own best efforts in not watching the news on TV, listening to it on the radio or reading the press, I have not been able to avoid it entirely.

A friend emailed me yesterday and described how they had been discussing with their grandmother how it's difficult to move forward in business right now, more using her as a sounding board than anything else, and her response had been really thought provoking: "Life is not about how to survive in the storm, it's about learning how to dance in the rain".

This comment reminded me how much we can learn from those around us who are at the two ends of the lifespan; children and the elderly. Children are so allowing of what happens in the world. They see only possibility and have a ferocious curiousity for discovering new things. The elderly have seen it and done it and know that there is so much more to enjoying life than the trappings we all seem to strive for in this day and age. They know that life is in fact much easier now than it has ever been and they often look back at "the good old days" with fond affection, even though times may have been tougher.

We take so much for granted in this modern world of gadgets and technology. We have luxuries, holidays, cars and homes that earlier generations could have only dreamed of, yet we believe we can't afford everything we want. When you watch a child splashing in the puddles on a rainy afternoon, do they have any idea that we are supposed to be having a tough time and can't afford all those things we say we need? No, they are simply enjoying the moment, learning how to dance in the rain.

I think my friend's grandmother got it right. If we stop trying to survive the storm and just take time to dance in the rain, we may in fact find that life isn't so bad really. We don't have to buy into the idea that times are tough. They just are what they are. We can choose to be miserable and blame the economy, the government and the banks, or we can choose to dance and play in the puddles. I know what I'm going to do!

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