I feel refreshed this morning. Not physically--because I didn't sleep very well--but I feel refreshed psychologically. You see, I visited one of the local screenings of Dave Ramsey's Town Hall for Hope last night. Several hundred turned out at Oakhaven Church--where I caught the show. And hopefully they left refreshed as well.
There were no teabags in sight, no placards claiming we have become a socialist country and nobody lining up with their hands out for a bailout or a stimulus check. Just people tired of the negative hype and the government interference--looking for reassurance that they still control their own fate. And that was Dave's main message: We the people still run this economy.
Dave did not sugarcoat the situtation--and he did not pull any punches when it came to assigning blame. Republicans, Democrats, big banks, reckless investment houses and those who borrowed money to buy things they could not afford to ever pay back all must have had their ears ringing last night. Those who have taken the steps necessary to continue running their businesses successfully despite the challenges were lauded. So were those willing to start from scratch in this economy.
There were plenty of chuckles when Dave talked about the economic conditions my grandparents endured in the Great Depression--and my parents lived through during the recessions of the 1970's and early '80's. You know what? We really don't have it that bad--but try to convince anybody in Washington or at the news outlets in New York or Atlanta.
In the wrap up, Dave told a great story about a "Jonathan" that worked at his favorite sub shop--who knew everyone's name and favorite order. Just a couple of months after "Jonathan" left the shop to go back to school--the place shut down--blaming the economy. Dave thinks it was because no one was willing to work as hard as "Jonathan" to make the business successful. He then encouraged everyone to be a "Jonathan" in their workplace--or to acknowledge the good work of that "Jonathan"--maybe pay that "Jonathan" a little bit more right now since, he is more valuable that ever. This Jonathan will be waiting patiently for those kudos today.
A friend who is dealing with some real hardship right now attended last night as well. I know that friend left feeling much better about that situation and with hope for the future. As Dave asked all of us last night, I will continue to give what I can to help that friend--as well as others I know that may need it. As Dave said "maybe we can give the Government out of business".
We can only hope.