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ZetaTalk: Life: Downside Up
written July 31, 2004

In this day and age, how can one have a positive outlook? Everywhere you look –diseases, war, terror, earth disasters, corruption in business and government. Too many are just out for themselves period. Also, with the impending Planet X cataclysm ahead, there is very little to have a positive attitude about.

The effect of great changes on one’s life are often described a having life turned upside down, implying that the up side, the optimistic or upbeat outlook, has become a downer, depressive. That this is the prevailing attitude is due to the loud complains of those who have lost in the change, as those who have gained are too busy enjoying the new vistas that have opened before them to comment. We are not speaking here of material goods, the homes lost, the business inoperable, the value of what had been put aside in savings diminished or gone. We are speaking of the thousands of depressing deadlocks that hold people in their ordinary lives, which they see no way of escaping, suddenly broken. The most obvious is the bondage that material goods place on their owners, and the social obligations that societies place upon their members.

Marriage brings the joys of companionship, partnership, and the patter of little feet. It also almost inevitably brings the responsibility of holding that boring job and the requirement that one restrict social interaction to the work place and close family. For a man to have a close friendship with a woman other than the wife, or the wife to enjoy the company of another man, is considered a threat, brings pouting and argument, and however innocent, is dropped for the sake of peace and the continuation of all the positive thing the marriage brings. The expectation that the martial partner must then be all to the other is a pressure and responsibility that is in and of itself depressing. We are not speaking here simply of sex, as these restrictions impose immobility on the partners ability to react to life in general. Should a husband want to help build housing for the poor on the other side of town on a Saturday morning, his wife reminds him that she expects him to repair their garage, and the fact that the construction group includes a number of single woman who share the husband's concern for the poor is a hidden agenda. Should the wife want to garden to give the neighborhood children the experience of growing their own food, she may find her husband making derogatory comments about her rough hands and sunburned neck, her focus no longer appropriately on being his showcase or trophy wife. Restrictions, not empowerment, becomes the norm.

Jobs, whether termed a career or profession or trade or simply something temporary to bring in money, are equally as restrictive. Income level goes up as experience or skills increase, so that the longer one holds the job, the more they earn, and the family does not sympathize with having that income reduced simply because the wage earner wants a change. There was the expense in time and money for collage or university or apprenticeship, the union seniority, the associations with others in the field, the vacation time and pension benefit earned because of time on the job to consider. Once again, the wage earner is restricted, looking out on a vista of years, decades, before him or her and seeing no change possible, as any step outside of the rut puts at risk all that has been gained. Should a doctor wish to serve the poor, rather than those with the funds to pay the clinic bills, the doctor must face angry clinic stockholders and most likely a divorce from a spouse who does not wish to sell the home and second car and drop the country club membership. Should a plumber wish to work in waste management, realizing what goes down the pipes and the damage it can do to the environment, the plumber would likely need to ask the spouse for financial as well as emotional support during a time of lost income, and once again social and marital expectations become a head wind against change.

We have mentioned that the poor, the homeless, the mentally ill, will fare better during the coming changes because they will not grieve for lost possessions, and already being at the bottom of life’s ladder, will find themselves suddenly counseling others on how to survive. We have mentioned that the coming changes, the pole shift, is a great leveler, putting the formerly wealthy on the streets and in desperation, and the formerly homeless in a larger junk yard from which to build a hovel. What we have not mentioned is that outside of the loss of material possessions, and the lose of the security blanket that most assume they have around them in the form of pension and insurance coverage and social services, the wealthy and financially secure will have a greater downside up from changed social circumstances. No longer forced to put in hours that restrict one’s life virtually to the work place, no longer forced to pander to the supervisor or boss and restrict one’s chatter to reflect the proper attitude, no longer forced to freeze out social interactions that threaten the status quo or repress the urge to spontaneously help others, the former drone of the status quo finds themselves more alert, feeling an energy they had lost early in life as restrictions closed about them like a net, and perhaps feeling alive for the first time in decades.

These opportunities for renewal will come to all because of the massive changes the pole shift will bring. Even where the family survives intact, the home, though damaged, survives the quakes and winds intact, and the political fabric of the region earns its leadership by their response to the catastrophe and remains thus intact, there will be a changed environment. Where formerly, the weight of what was to be lost was on the side of the status quo, now the status quo is dwarfed by a compelling emergency. Helping to rebuild housing for those now in out in the rain, the doctor giving service to the poor without expectation of payment, dealing with chemical spills and broken sewage mains that threaten the environment and health of the community, and putting up gardens as a food source when the supplies scrapped from the wreckage of homes and grocery stores run down - now no one can argue that these steps are not of prime importance. The clingy and demanding spouse, the possessions demanding to be polished, the inane boss demanding to be considered brilliant, all can be ignored. Life has received an infusion of energy, charged not only by need for action on the part of anyone with a heart that cares, but also by the breaking of virtual bondage that most societies represent. A downside, suddenly up!