Where next?

Next, originally uploaded by john m flores.

One thing that I hear pretty regularly from those with more years than I is that this economic crisis feels different than those in years past. "This time it's different," say those that entered the workforce in the midst of a fuel crisis. "This time it's different," say those that hit their professional stride as the Berlin Wall fell. "This time it's different," say those that saw the dotcoms crumble like so many sock puppets without puppeteers.

And truth be told, there is something missing from our collective conscience. It's like we've lost an edge. We've spent so many decades as the top dog. We've faced down so many challenges. We've always known that we would. We always believed in ourselves. But not this time. This time, it's different. We've been hit with a sucker punch that we didn't see coming, a mind-bending cocktail of underestimating our frenemies and overestimating our selves. And just to stretch this boxing metaphor uncomfortably over this post - we're still staggering and not quite sure what hit us. And just like the cartoons, the little birds are circling around our head and chirping. Those birds were probably made in China.

Years from now we'll look back on this curious moment in American history with some fascination. How we look back will depend largely upon where we look back from - have we weathered this economic storm and come out revitalized, or have we succumbed to forces greater than our collective will?

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