It’s already September!
Where did the time go? Summer is, technically, over. Fall is here, and the year is rushing to the end.
We’ve enjoyed (or not) the sun and good travel weather. If you’re in Texas, you’ve seen such a long stretch of 100+ days, it’s staggering. Other parts of the country (USA) have had there share of ups and downs. Now, the Covid virus is, supposedly, back on the rise. The one thing we cannot forget is that we’ve been through a situation that we wouldn’t have believed would have ever happened, especially on a global scale. What if it happened again?
The wonderful thing about life is that it’s filled with lessons. We’re supposed to take those lessons and learn from them. We’re supposed to take what we learn, and let it prepare us for our future. What can we learn from what was, once, unimaginable?
Lesson 1: Take nothing for granted
The one thing I think we can all agree on is that when our freedoms were restricted we finally understood what it meant to be prisoners. We can, also, agree that being able to go outside into the sun, walk freely with friends and family, and having enough supplies for your home are amenities of life that we take for granted.
Being an American between 1995 and now means you don’t know much about riots in the streets, military lock downs, gas prices so high that you can’t afford it, or gas shortages. For the most part, this country has experienced growth and innovation unlike any other place on the place and during any other time in history. Yet, pandemics spreading beyond the borders of a confined area have happened about every 50 years for the last 600 years or so. So, we have to be open to the fact that bad situations can happen at a city, state, national, and worldwide level that will have life-changing consequences.
Lesson 2: Prepare for the worst, but live like it’s the best time ever
The stark reality of today is that no one seems to prepare for anything. We wake up late, try to rush to work or school or some appointment, then get mad because there are so many cars on the street: in our way! We didn’t give enough time to get where we’re going. We didn’t anticipate that there could be accidents or obstacles along the way. That way of thinking is what the ancients would call foolish.
People spend, not just what they make, but more than what they make. We don’t teach our kids what money is and what it’s really to be used for, so little kids without discipline grow into adult-hulks completely devoid of the understanding of what to do with their money. They drown themselves in debt trying to keep up with the Joneses, though, more than enough national disasters suggest that you should learn to be financially literate.
You had the dot-com bubble in the early 2000’s along with the 9/11 attacks. The subprime mortgage crisis in 2008 should have been a clear warning to people on how to properly purchase a home and have your personal credit in order. Financial institutions like Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers collapsed overnight. Then a global shut-down with the Covid pandemic forced more people than every to rely on their governments, which only creates more problems because the government gets it’s money from the people. If the people have no jobs, i.e., no way to make money then that means the governments, and eventually the country will collapse.
In all of this, you saw some people pivot, adapt, and keep moving forward. Even prospering, financially, during these times because of understanding what’s going on, being prepared for the situation, and weathering the storm. The Bible makes an interesting suggestion about money. Ecclesiastes 7:12 says “For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.” Poor money habits, poor management habits, and sticking our heads in the ground, hoping that things will get better will be what lowers your defense, and cause for you to be overrun by life’s attacks.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying life, but it’s much better to be prepared for what’s coming.
Lesson 3: Understand that people are both the problem, and the solution
The only reason there are conflicts is because you have differences with other people. The only reason times seem to be bad is because maybe a person doesn’t have a hold of their own lives, not taking responsibility for their actions, and not understand the consequences of certain decisions. This all stems around not understanding how to interact with people or knowing how a person really should be.
Once we break the rules of humanity, then we see the destructive outcome of the situation: wars, strife, destruction of property, theft at every level of society.
People forget that we’re dealing with other people. We tend to not see everyone as being like ourselves: wanting happiness, to have a good life, to laugh with friends and family, to experience all the joys that life can bring. We end up seeing others as enemies to our well-being, and therefore, we treat each other poorly. All our conflict would cease once we understood each other.
Now, what does this have to do with technology?
We can never go back to the way things were.
Are you prepared to meet your congregants, team, or staff in an unconventional way?
Have you prepared your technology infrastructure to withstand the next upheaval?
Will you be ready for a shift in the social fabric, and how people will react to another crisis?
These questions should help guide your next financial moves and how you approach the coming technological future.