Baxter Black: Keep the faith, a survival kit

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Baxter Black

President Jimmy Carter’s reign was called the time of malaise, defined as a feeling of discomfort.

Present times might be described as a time of anxiety. Still hopeful, but with very little trust in the people we put in office.

The recession has hit everybody and each of us has to find a way to get through it. We cannot let the dread of what our well-meaning but inept government has wrought bring us down.

I’m guessing there is a segment of our population that doesn’t worry about our economic condition much. They are on both ends of the spectrum — those who live on a private or government pension, or welfare, who pay little or no taxes, and have no doubt the next check is coming, and …

Those who have money in the bank from inheritance or private investment, pay two/thirds of all the country’s income tax, and are confident they can ride it out.

Then there are others. Most of us, I think.

Those who have taken two jobs, moved into a smaller house, laid off employees with regret, are lending support to our friends and relatives, pay the rest of the income taxes, and keep listening to CNN to see when the next shoe will fall.

To you who have never quit trying, I offer a short list. It has helped me keep pointed in the right direction. I have never been a man who made goals. That may sound funny from a fellow who can tell you where he will be entertaining next Feb. 24, or May 5th. I pretty much live from today to my next performance road trip.

In the meantime, I have cows to check, calls to return, things to fix, church, friends to visit, family, and routine responsibilities.

In my travels over the years, I get to see my friends.

They often say, “We should get together more often.” But to me, I do get to see and visit most of them every year or two. That’s a lot considering the distance between our homes.

I can’t imagine ever “retiring” (as if this is a real job). During this recession, many of us are being forced to face reality, the possibility of life-changing upheavals, and a cloudy future.

Personally, all my responsibilities seem to be swirling and spinning in my mind like puzzles on Wheel of Fortune. They keep popping up like brush fires which need tended immediately. You put it out and another one flares up.

I have given some thought about what is important to me to be able to survive the turmoil that roils around us.

What I can personally do that will make a difference while our leaders fiddle while Washington, D.C., burns.

Here’s my list:

• Keep the faith.

• Do good works.

• Keep your shoulder to

the wheel.

• Stay in touch with those you care about.

• Listen first.

• Be thankful for each day.

And if that don’t work, I’ll go back to the drawing board because I’ve got a lot of chalk.

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