Posts Tagged ‘chicken little’

Oh No — the Sky is Falling

May 29, 2008

In the constant interviews about No More Mondays, it seems inevitable that the question about being in a “recession” comes up.  I wish I could convey that whether or not we are in a recession is much like whether or not we believe the sky is falling. 

Remember that famous children’s fairy tale?  One day Chicken Little was scratching in the garden when an acorn fell on her head. She decides to tell the King, and on her journey meets many other animals who join her in the rush to share this startling news.  “How do you know the sky is falling, Chicken Little?” asked Henny Penny.  “I saw it with my own eyes, I heard it with my own ears, and a bit of it fell on my head,” said Chicken Little.

There are many version of this story, but the basic premise of the happy version is not to be like “Chicken,” but to have courage and don’t believe everything you are told.

I think believing we are in a “recession” is very similar.  If you experienced a little piece of a layoff, a real estate downturn, or the increase in gas prices, you can easily confirm that “I saw it with my own eyes, I heard it with my own ears, and a bit of it fell on my head.”  And thus you share the news with your closest friends. And certainly now would be a poor time to start something new or to leave the “security” of a real job.

But what if you recognized that the fear of a “recession” is going to immobilize most people, leaving you multiple opportunities for separating yourself from the pack and moving ahead.  You can counsel, coach, teach, or speak to those who are stuck in life.  You can come up with better solutions for economic transportation, reduce fuel consumption with efficient housing, improve health care, education, or provide methods for spiritual growth.  You can invent a better dog leash, or a more nutritional energy bar. Many of our 212Connection members have created fulfilling opportunities in the midst of this “recession.”  You can provide encouraging men’s conferences in 36 cities like member Brian Doyle has done.  Or offer more economical pharmaceuticals like West Conner is doing. Maybe you can find beauty in everyday settings with photography like Deby Dearman does or bring hope to struggling parents of unique kids like Theresa Lode is able to do. 

Of course in the unhappy version of the fable, the fox eats the chicken.  I like to think that the moral of that story is if you have nothing but bad news; just keep your mouth shut.

The Sky is Falling — Isn’t It?

February 5, 2008

The headlines screamed this week – Jobs Cutbacks, Jobs Lost, Job LossesThe Labor Department has reported that total job numbers were down by 17,000 in January, the first monthly decline since August 2003. 

Remember the wonderful children’s fable The Sky is Falling?  This is an old tale about a chicken who believes the sky is falling.  The phrase “the sky is falling” has become a popular cliché indicating a hysterical belief that disaster is crashing down on us. 

In the original story Chicken Little is eating lunch one day when an acorn falls on her head.  She mistakenly assumes the sky is falling, rushes off to tell the King, and along the way meets a lot of other animals who join in with her belief and the accompanying fear.

What this week’s headlines fail to announce with as much fanfare is that the unemployment rate actually FELL from 5.0 percent to 4.9 percent.  AND – average hourly earnings ROSE to $17.75 in January – up 0.2 percent from December.  How can the job loss be such a catastrophe if unemployment dropped and earnings rose?  What the government figures can’t see are the thousands of people who are exiting traditional jobs in companies with 50 or more employees (the basis for the statistics) and finding meaningful, fulfilling work in the No More Mondays fashion.  The exploding number of consultants, independent contractors, temps, electronic immigrants, entrepreneurs and eBay merchants are below the radar of traditional “job” tracking. 

Sometimes I think the news media should just be called Chicken Little.  How about Chicken Nightly Nonsense (CNN) All Boloney Chicken (ABC) and Nothin But Chicken (NBC).  Incidentally, although I am not a man to wish anyone harm, in the fable the FOX ending up eating all the doomsayers.