I realize most people are not as optimistic as I am. It’s part of my personality type (ESFJ). I can’t help it; a leopard can’t change its spots. So this is for Americans who are having a tough time; middle class and below.

Our situation is such that many dreams of success have been shattered. This loss causes us to be disappointed and worried for our friends, our families and ourselves. It wasn’t that long ago that we looked at the prosperity and wealth of the past and assumed it would continue, uninterrupted, into our future. But it hasn’t.

We have to decide how we are going to deal with our loss of trust and feelings of increased anxiety. But how do we adjust to these difficult times? One way is to realize that America is still the country of great abundance; people risk their lives trying to come here to live. They come from countries where they have no freedom, no shelter, no clothing, no food. When they hear us talking about tough times they probably smile at our concerns because abundance, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. They have relatives in foreign countries who would change places with us in an instant.

Above all, we must be realistic in our expectations because it is becoming apparent that good times are not right around the corner. We must also be hopeful. My parents lived through the Great Depression; a previous time of great loss and anxiety. They were afraid for their future too. But they answered the challenge. They not only survived it, but they overcame it. This is what we must do. No one knows how long that will take nor how difficult it will be. In the meantime we must appreciate our friends and families and the good things we do have and keep working to improve our lives and communities. If we do, one day we’ll look up and see the sun is shining brightly again.

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