Thursday, September 18, 2008

Teh Sky, It Falls

There's a chatroom I join on a daily basis that contains an eclectic group of guildies from World of Warcraft. One of them, who is normally a night owl and sleeping by now, pops into the chat going "holy shit, did you see the DOW?"

Yes, I saw it. I saw it last year when it did the same thing, too. And still true to last year's prediction, the market is continuing in a general downward trend despite promising ups, and if I remember correctly, we should still see it falling [overall] until sometime in '09 when we'll [I hope] bottom out and start moving in a general up direction.

"Do you have any stocks?" he asks.

No. No, I don't. Not besides my 401k, which is floundering like a fish out of water.

"Well then, you don't have as much reason to panic."

Yeah, and? Even if I did have stocks, this is another case of everyone's panicking making the stock market fall harder than it has to. Yes, I understand the implications of gigantic important banks going under. Yes, I realize it's alarming. Can we do anything about it?


And that was my point. Why panic so much about something we have absolutely no control over? What does it gain people to work themselves into a tizzy and have anxiety attacks because omg teh sky it falls? It does nothing, other than compromise our mental and physical health.

Here's what I told him, and I'm going to re-state it:

It's like this -- you can roll up your sleeves and prepare to take life as it comes, or you can run around like a chicken with your head cut off and be that much worse for it.

Okay, so, the market is on a respirator. I get that. You would have to be blind not to see it. And I'm not saying I don't panic. (Trust me, I panic.) It's just that I get over it faster than most people. Yes, there are a lot of people out there who are losing a lot of money in stocks, and it is very understandable for them to feel borderline mental breakdownish about it (especially if they were banking on those stocks as retirement). But I promise the sun will rise tomorrow, the world will still turn, blah blah yadda yadda. There might be less food on the table, there might be less home to live in (especially if those scientists end up destroying the earth when they start colliding particles in the LHC), but life goes on regardless of what happens in the stock market. Human beings are fighters. Corner us in a desperate situation and by God we'll come out of it victorious, dripping blood, with a proud fist held high in the air. Or we'll at least put up a damned good fight before we go under, but that's not as inspiring as the previous image.

People can be concerned. I have no problem with that. Concern is healthy.

Panic is not.

Quote of the Day:

(Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
The Book: What to do if you find yourself stuck with no hope of rescue: Consider yourself lucky that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which given your present circumstances seems more likely, consider yourself lucky that it won't be troubling you much longer.

1 comment:

The Raven said...

Why 4come joo no blogzies nevar abouts mei? Aren't I not yer favorite fountain of knowledge and knower of arcane nothings?