Friday, November 2, 2012

'Hurricanes in New York!'

45) Hurricanes in New York!


urricanes in New York - again!  Halloween snow storms, Halloween Hurricanes!  (Does anyone remember the 'Procaccino for Halloween' buttons of the 1969 NYC mayoral race?  It looks like an orange Jack O ‘Lantern.)

            Actually, hurricanes have been in New York since I don't know when.  However, my point is, ever since 9-11, people like mobilizing.

            Mobilization gives people a sense of purpose, and feeling of not being alone.

            I believe many of us have become confused or deflated since 9/11.  What had been a life of relative luxury and ethnocentrism, has become a life of feeling lost.  Tsunamis, weather, war, murder, terrorism, politics, and 1%'rs have caused so many of us to either, lose our way, or sort of give up.  We walk through the day with little sense of purpose or enthusiasm, and few long-term goals.

            The future is so uncertain and not necessarily better for us, and our children; hope wanes.  Frustration, anger, depression, and anxiety take over.  If nature works against us, we're totally helpless, if not extinct.  When the power goes off, we're more helpless than animals surviving in the forest.

            Now, I've been around the block.  I grew up in the concrete jungle in the '60s.  NYC, racism, Show Biz, the tail end of Hippiedom, drugs, free sex, Viet Nam, JFK, Women's Lib, etc.; fast-forward: full life, 9/11.  But Hurricane Sandy has really started to bring it home.

            Remember, I'm a First Responder and the teacher of first responders including lifeguards, water being a special medium.  My Go-Bag lies ready, and I have an 'escape from New York' plan.  I'm a self-anointed quasi-Renaissance Man, and my fraternity dubbed me with a powerful moniker to which I must live up.  And before the hurricane, I had just finished blogging on life purpose.

            As one good in an emergency, I will you that, in the middle of an emergency is no time to question your mettle, abilities, ethics, skills, commitment, or ability to respond appropriately.

            You go on automatic pilot, and avoid questioning yourself; hesitation kills.  It's not time to Be, it's time to Do.

            I checked w/family & friends throughout the seaboard, as I was so proud of myself, for not only living in NYC, but the right neighborhood of Manhattan, where my response to the hurricane was a highly productive Snow Day, both professionally & personally, listening to Classical WQXR.

            The second day, I went to the coffee shop, and then watched Sci-Fi, the Science channel and way too much news.  All three channels showed me the destruction of the world over and over again.  I became bored and cycled to Bikram yoga, where the classes were full.

            I began to suffer ‘Survivors Guilt’, for having it so easy while everyone I knew in lower Manhattan, or CT, LI, NJ, PA, MA, etc. was in the dark, without heat and connectivity.  And I began to ponder my existence.

Think about it: what if much of the city was wiped out or the population decimated?  In Sci-Fi, we've seen the Earth end a dozen different ways, and the Science channel shows us what the Earth would be like, if humans disappear.  And life really has ended on Earth before; life that outlived us by many millions of years.

            If life as we know it really ended what would be my purpose then?  What would I do?

            The book, 'Where's My Cheese?', shows how rigid we are by nature, in just our everyday lives.  Forget about hunting, gathering, farming, starting a fire, making clothes and building shelters.  No radio, TV, phonographs, elevators, no 9-11, no refrigerators, heat, gas for cars, A/C, telephone, computers.  How many of us know smoke & drum signals, and Morse Code?  How many can start a fire, make candles, skin an animal, build a structure?  What would the young do without digital anything?!

            Where would I go?  Who would I be?  How would I eat, and protect myself from the elements, other humans, and animals?

            We would really need to expect that it would become dog eat dog, and survival of the fittest.  And I haven't been practicing using knives, spears and bows & arrows, nor do I own a gun!

            What loss would civilization suffer?  Music, art, movies, technology, etc.

            We are such a speck.  A speck in the Universe; a speck in time.

            Why are we here?

We’re taught to plan for the worst and hope for the best, or roll with the punches.  Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong (and at the worst possible time), to which we add Schwartz’s Corollary: Murphy was an optimist.  Also, no good deed goes unpunished.  So even with a good attitude and good intentions and good plans (Eric plans, God laughs), it’s sometimes just too overwhelming.

            Yes, humans are survivors, but what happens when our spirit is gone?  How do we rediscover a sense of purpose, and recognize our place in the universe?

            Probably nothing you haven't heard, but it bears repeating:

ü  Never give up.
ü  Procreate.
ü  Live for today, plan for tomorrow.
ü  Enjoy each day as if it was your last.
ü  Use common sense, and don't be frivolous.  Make smart, conscious, deliberate decisions.
ü  Acquire, practice & employ the skills you need for survival.
ü  Acquire the resources you need for survival.
ü  Be motivated by goals, not fears.
ü  Learn, read, discuss, and explore your own philosophies and spirituality to develop a sense of self and a sense of purpose.
ü  Continue to be curious and learn.
ü  Play a responsible, ethical role in society.
ü  Fake it ‘til you make it - mobilize

            The end of the world may not yet be here (although 12/21 is just weeks away.  And what do we do if the world doesn’t end?!).  By managing expectations, and living life to the fullest, we can rediscover a life of purpose.  Without it, we do not truly live.

            Your financial plan should reflect your life:

Ø  Emergency Management (e.g. cash, water, blankets, first aid kit)
Ø  Daily survival (e.g. budgets, savings, systems)
Ø  Risk Management (e.g. emergency cash, credit, insurance, exercise)
Ø  Goal-oriented work, play, laughter & fun.

            Why are we here?  Why are you here?  What’s your purpose?  What’s your plan?  Is your financial plan a burden, or a survival tool?

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