Good Things About Bad Times

I drove by a flea market today and cars were spilling out of the parking lot. It struck me that there just might be an up side to this down economy. Flea markets, second-hand, and consignment stores seem to be doing well. It means we’re buying less, recycling more, and contributing to a greener environment. Good news for sure.

So because I’m a glass half full kind of person who’s tired of the doom and gloom I decided to spend some time mining the silver lining in the cloud of this recession. As a result here’s my top ten list of good things about bad times.

1. The humour seems to be improving. While it’s hard to laugh when times are tough, the television networks and even the advertisers seem to be making humour a priority. One of the benefits of tough times is that we remember how good it feels to laugh. Humour helps us manage stress, see a situation in perspective and build relationships.

2. Education becomes more important. Historically, enrollment in post secondary institutions always goes up in bad times. When there aren’t a lot of jobs, people tend to go back to school and that’s always a good thing in a knowledge economy.

3. Long distance travel becomes more affordable. There are deals out there for sure. It astounds me that I can fly across the country to visit family for less than the same flight cost thirty years ago. Generally though we’re sticking closer to home and not doing as much driving. That’s good too because it means less pollution.

4. Tough times mean some people are losing their jobs. While that’s sad and scary I’ve known many who have used the loss of a job as an opportunity to explore themselves and their options. For many it has resulted in a far more rewarding career that has been a far better fit with their passion, skills and interests.

5. We spend more time with friends and family. You’ll finally have the time to rediscover the wonder of nature and check out local museums, libraries, historical sites, and parks during your stay-cation. You discover that you can still play a mean game of euchre and are reminded how much kids love camping.

6. Ironically, having less money means that many of us are eating healthier. Often we eat out less and at home more. The result?  Food choices that are better for us. 

7. We remember that we can have a lot of fun without spending on material goods and end up spending less and saving more. That makes us feel better because we have greater control over our finances.

8. We look for and value leadership. There is no better time than a tough time to learn about the difference between those who manage and those who lead. Not sure we’re seeing a lot of leadership from Canadian politicians these days but for sure we all recognize that Obama is a leader. 

9. Irrelevant and inefficient businesses will cease to operate. Good businesses will thrive. When spending tightens, survival of the fittest kicks in and those providing poor customer service and questionable value don’t last. That’s good news for the small business owners who support our communities and provide more personalized service.

10. We count our blessings. There is no time, like a troubled time, to determine what you value in your life. Rough times make us fine tune our lenses to more clearly see what’s important to us. If we’re wise, we’ll take inventory, donate to those less fortunate, recycle, and affirm, with love and positive reinforcement, what and who matters most. Instead of fretting about what we don’t have, we can feel good and grateful for what we do have.

Posted on 04-11-09


I like your positive attitude. I hope you never turn into a cynic.

•Posted by I like it  on  03/26/12  at  05:49 AM

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