Westlake Revelations Readers:
This is an editorial — aka an opinion piece. Obviously, it’s a departure from the typical Westlake Revelations content and style — but you should not take it as a new direction for Westlake Revelations.

Let us know if you would periodically like to see this type of content or not.

How individuals can make a difference in the crises at hand

On Tuesday, as we do every 4-8 years, the country starts a new chapter. Regardless of who one voted for, Americans are behind the peaceful transition of power; never demonstrated better than the efforts between the Bush and Obama teams these past few weeks.

This time, however, we have a particularly important changeover as it gives all of us, from all political parties, the ability to draw a line in time that as we pass it, we can each be part of solving the crises at hand.

If you think about it, much of our economy’s power is based on emotion. When we feel good, good things happen. When we don’t, the economy nose dives. At times, however, something really horrible unifies us. For example, after 9/11 the country was so unified, there was nearly zero crime for days, if not weeks. In other words, crises dealt to us can be turned into something good.

Officially, the recession that we’ve been experienced has been going on for close to 15 months now. And, most recessions last 1-2 years. From the cyclical point of view, combined with the rescue efforts, most people believe that we will see an improvement in the economy in 2009 and be in much better shape in 2010.

We can unite to accelerate this schedule by simply changing our mood, by being upbeat and optimistic, by embracing our fellow neighbors with a positive “we’re together” type of attitude.

In a couple of days, all agree that we will be witnessing history. We can use Tuesday’s events as a delineation: a point where we can choose to have a positive, optimistic view. And, that’s what I encourage you to do.

How does that translate into action? I encourage you to do whatever you are capable of doing at this point. If you can donate to a charity … do it. If you plan on buying something … buy it sooner. If you don’t have money to spend … volunteer for something, or choose a level that you can afford.

And, it can be smaller acts. As you go through a drive through or coffee place in the morning, buy a cup of coffee anonymously for the person in the car behind you (imagine the impact you’d have on their day). Or, help someone carry something to a car. As many in our area do already, greet people you see walking down the street with a smile.

In short, be positive. Do things, in particular selfless acts, that will put others into a good mood. It will make you feel good, and, that mood will spread to those you touch. More than anything, that’s what we all can do to tackle the crisis we’re in. As, once again, Americans’ mood is one of the greatest factors in our economy.

Finally, speak your mind in a positive constructive way. If you want your city, school district, state, or federal government to do something, or do something differently … speak up! But, do so in a positive, constructive manner. Offer up ideas that take into account multiple points of view, don’t just criticize. Be part of creating the solution.

I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. One that when we reflect back on it, I all hope that we can see this as the year that together, as Americans, we came together to tackle tough problems … as we have done in the past, and I’m confident we’ll do again in the future.

Feel free to forward this text to other people. That can be your first step in promoting a positive attitude this week.

Best regards,
Neil Ticktin
Founder, Westlake Revelations