As I sat at Easter dinner yesterday, I said a prayer for people everywhere in Brussels but most especially for the victims of the latest terrorist attacks as well as their families and their loved ones.
Easter has always been special to me. As a Christian, it has a very important meaning to me. As such, it is the symbol of new beginnings that can come from great suffering and tribulation.
A few posts back, I talked about how people don’t seem to be shocked by terrorist attacks any more. We can “conceive the inconceivable,” and so the stock market doesn’t seem to register terrorist attacks. The latest outbreak in Brussels certainly bears that out.
While investors may not be fazed, I can’t imagine experiencing that sense of hopelessness when your world around you is exploding. I certainly never want to even come close to knowing what it’s like to lose someone I love in a senseless act of violence.
As I was doing my daily search for financial news (and it’s pretty much the same—investors are very worried about the next stock market downturn,), I came across something about the Brussels attacks that struck me: a video with a father holding his young daughter and the caption reads, “We can’t let them win by scaring us.” In the video, the man finished his thought with, “by not living the way we want to live.” Another woman in the video talked about being strong and not letter the terrorists win.
A story I used to read my daughter when she was little was about a mouse who gets stuck in a cereal box. Her family finds her and need to tip the box over to get her out. When she says, “Daddy, I’m scared,” her wise father responds, “Being scared is okay…Feeling afraid doesn’t have to keep you from being brave.”
In times of uncertainty, we have a choice: we can shut down, close off the world, and hope that keeps us immune from whatever horror that is occurring (a terrorist attack, a market tumbling down out of control). Or, we can find a way to be brave, continue to live our lives, find ways to win, even though we may be scared to death of what’s going on around us.
I could write every blog post these days on how the market continues to threaten to do a nosedive. Investors seem to be waiting for it. People I talk to who have a portion of their savings in some sort of equity account are feeling like they don’t know how to take back control of their money.
In times of uncertainty, one of the choices we have is to keep doing the “same ole same ole” and hope that’s enough. Or we can look for alternatives. With our money, that may be going against the grain of what traditional investing advice tells us to do.
I applaud the courage of the people I saw in Brussels on that video. Their willingness to face up to this very real threat and not crumble, to find a way to fight back by simply living the best they can, is something we can all learn from. I pray that the people of Brussels find a new beginning out of the ashes of that awful attack upon their city. I think it will come from those who believe as that father does, “we can’t let them win by scaring us.”
When you’re presented with something that seems scary, remember to be brave in spite of your fear. Looking past your fear may open up a whole new world of possibilities.
Hope you had a great Easter!
1. March 26, 2016 – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35903368
2. Patsy Clairmont.. “Meatball.” Five Cheesy Stories. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2005.