Chaotic times are upon us. The new coronavirus is sweeping through one of the most populous regions in the world. Hundreds of millions of human beings are being quarantined in their cities and homes. In some cities, police carry out house to house checks for anyone with a fever. If a person has a fever they, along with their family, may be removed and placed in “quarantine camps”. This weekend we learned of an outbreak of bird flu in Germany. Today we were told of an army of locust of at least a billion insects is moving through parts of Africa. What these locust consume in their path over the next three weeks may cause starvation for huge parts of that continent.
It’s not just chaotic health concerns but add to it the stock markets, bond markets and commodity markets are swinging widely up and down. In many situations the cause of the swings can come from Central Banks, headline news, governments, rumors or fraud investigations. Mergers of companies and store closings are announced on almost a weekly basis. Now add the political divide in our communities, our country and indeed in our world and you have this poisonous concoction of chaos that can cause many people to just throw up their hands or sit on them in disgust, anger and disbelief.
Here’s where great (and some really bad) leaders rise and successful people excel…. during the chaos. How do they react? They step up, they do not step away, throw up their hands or sit on them. The successful person does not follow the path of the masses. These folks think differently. They disregard the headlines and look for the truth. For in truth, there are solutions to problems.
There is a small furry, gerbil-like rodent called a lemming that sometimes reflects the masses of humans in times like these. These lemmings travel in large “herds”. They all think alike, move together and react together. Like crazy crowds who get out of hand with violence, these lemmings will even jump off cliffs together killing themselves in large numbers.
You may say, “That type of behavior is crazy” and it is but don’t we, as humans, do the same thing from time to time? We let fear not reason, anger not truth, fiction not faith take hold of us and we panic resulting in “crazy” behavior. We are afraid to step up in all the chaos and say wait a minute there is opportunity here. Let’s THINK this through….
The British people during WWII faced total chaos as bombs rained down on them relentlessly day after day and night after night. Dropped on the orders of Hitler who rose during economic chaos as people clung to crazy and ill-conceived solutions to their problems. The British kept calm and carried on. They were not going to give up. They stood up and became evermore resolved to fight for what was right, even if it was to the bitter end. Ultimately, the British rose to win not lose.
I have been highlighting in several of my “Thoughts of the Day” publications that chaos was upon us. I had no idea there would be famine, flu, mass quarantines but you can feel tensions rising around the world. Capital markets are wildly out of kilter with reality. Politics is at a fever pitch. One thing we can all be sure of, our chaotic times will get more intense, in the coming weeks and months.
It is time to search for the truth not the inflammatory. It is time to stand up and lead not sit on our hands. It is time to look for opportunity to serve not seek to be served. Above all, it is time to “Keep Calm and Carry On”.
Until next time, Peace!🤔✌️