Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Global anxiety

Sitting on an idyllic tropical beach, I feel pangs of guilt as I think of people around the world, especially in the States who have, through no fault of their own save for a trust in the American economic system, great anxiety about their financial future. Of course, little in this world, including a tiny island in the Andaman Sea, escapes the effects of America's latest blunder.

So, in many ways we have felt the jolt: In transportation costs, in our retirement folios, in food prices, to name just a few. Overall, although we wanted to return because we enjoy the Thai lifestyle, we were very fortunate to come when we did; lucky timing, that's all (Checking the math, we discovered that this vacation as residents here would cost the equivalent of a week's trip to Chicago if we were in the U.S.).

Knowledge is not always a good thing. The Bible's metaphor involving Adam and Eve is apropos: naiveté often releases us from anguish. We have been isolated without TV or newspaper for nearly a week. How the presidential race is shaping up, or how the Dow has tracked this week will have no effect on the tides that move the lapping waves, the
hornbills that squabble in the palms, the crabs that race across the sand, or the islands that steadily erode imperceptibly with each monsoon downpour.