Fear and Anger: Walk Away From It

Thursday, there was a whiff of panic in the air, as the Dow went through a 1,000-point intraday swing.

Friday, American eyes were locked, with a sense of “deja vu,” on the financial train wreck in Europe. The credit engine in Europe may be on the verge of seizing up, like it did in America in 2008.

This week, Greece; next week, the Continent? ¬†Germany and France are rushing to avert crisis, but probably too late. It doesn’t help one bit that Britain woke up Friday morning with a fractured Parliament. Can the new Parliament possibly be more dysfunctional than the American Congress? And next week,¬†strikes are scheduled in Europe.

For the average human being, this would be a good time to be far away from and fully independent of free markets; out of debt; and growing your own vegetables in dirt and fresh air. In other words, simplicity never looked so good.

Next time someone flies into a rage over a parking space or a line at the supermarket, give them plenty of room to vent. And don’t take it personally. It’s not about the parking space or the line. People are angry about events not under their control.

This would be a good weekend to go fishing, in a quiet place, far from the maddening crowd. Take along someone you like. Eat comfort food. Read a good, long book, or two short books, and call me in the morning.

— John Hayden