I watched the stock market pretty closely on Monday. (Don’t tell the boss, but I did it on work time and on the office computer.)
You see, I’m at that delicate age when I should be moving my retirement money into less risky places. I had met just over a week before with a representative of my retirement program, who is also a friend. I was a little bit behind in making this transfer of funds, but at least I knew what I needed to do.
Then came the crazy week of potential debt default, followed by S&P’s downgrading of the US’s bond rating, followed by uncertainty on the Dow Jones, something I don’t follow very closely, truth to tell.
So I was watching the stock market, wondering if I could still move my money from stocks to bonds, and wondering how many years beyond “typical” retirement I’d have to work (whatever typical retirement means these days).
Then I came home, after the 500+ point drop in the Dow, poured a glass of wine, and turned on the TV news. There were Scott Pelley (CBS) and Anderson Cooper (CNN), both reporting from East Africa on the drought and famine in Somalia. Pictures of young children emaciated by lack of food. Parents who had walked for days to bring their kids for what they hoped would be life-saving help. The news programs pinged back and forth between Wall Street and Somali refugee camps.
And so it put the day of stock decline in perspective. I might have to work a little longer before retirement, but I’m still not likely to watch my grandchild starve.
May God grant us the grace and the wisdom to realize that there are things more important than the somewhat-devalued treasures we’ve stored up here on earth.
–George Reed, Executive Director