The economic news hasn’t been so good lately. How are you coping? Have you checked your own family’s history?
Most of us have relatives who lived through the years of the Great Depression. Their stories of life in America during that troubling time are often chilling, yet inspirational. They can also be instructive as we navigate the uncharted waters that threaten to swamp our present global economy.
Learning about your own family’s Great Depression experiences gives you a unique perspective on how your ancestors dealt with wave after wave of hardships they encountered as they struggled to keep their families afloat. You can learn more about lessons learned from that time in Studs Terkel’s Hard Times, a book based on interviews of survivors of the Great Depression first published in 1970 and enjoying a resurgence in popularity today.
For many of us, a return to the basics are in order. The Gatsby-like “American Dream” lifestyle of fancy cars, lavish lifestyle and big houses, fueled by cheap energy and easy credit, is unsustainable and, for most of us, unattainable. Here are a few lessons from the Great Depression that can help us get on track:
• Work hard
• Save what you can
• Educate yourself and your children
• Insist that your representatives in government know where you stand on matters of importance to you
• Live within your means
• Be good to your neighbors
• Support your local businesses
What lessons have you learned from your Great Depression relatives?
Flickr photo courtesy of Koshyk (traveling).