Michigan has the highest unemployment in the nation but still I see people smiling, opening doors and generally seeming ok. Despite the dismal reports, I am optimistic that the economy is improving. Reasons that my small world has led me to this conclusion:
If you want to know the state of a nation's economy, walk into your public library on a weekday afternoon. If it is anything like Canton, MI you will find it full of middle-aged people on the computers, browsing the aisles or just passing the time flipping magazines. The parking lot is full and in some strange way, it feels like you are at a carnival.
-My law firm has started sending us presents again. This gives me hope. And a sugar rush.
- I have seen people shopping in the non-sale sections at shopping malls. In grocery stores, the carts are looking more full and I notice non-essentials such as vegetables packed along with the essentials like Twinkies.
-Restaurants are packed. If people are eating out, that means they can still afford to and that the teenagers of America still have jobs and teenagers spend all their money!
You might be one to look at Goldman Sachs recent rebound and get excited but such market trends are highly suspect. Instead, just take a look at your neighbors and the average person. Once they are convinced that this country is on the upswing, this country will be on the upswing.
But moving on to more exciting topics. All this recent time spent at the public library takes me down memory lane...
I love to read. I have always loved to read. My best memories from my childhood are sitting in a big stuffed pink bunny rabbit with a pile of ten books next to me and reading until my parents dragged me away. I used to even read my book while riding on my bike around the neighborhood. I was hooked. There were the Goosebump books, the Sweet Valley Twins, Boxcar Children and the Babysitters Club. There was Ramona Quimby and a slew of other imaginary characters. Anais Nin said "I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live." I completely agree but when we are young, I think sometimes we read to escape to a world in which we can live.
Do you remember the summer reading programs at the library when you were a kid? I used to get so excited about them. I lived for the freebies they gave. And they gave them for reading!!! What a fantasy world we lived in. I coveted my bouncy ball or ice cream gift certificate. If you read the maximum amount of books you might be so lucky as to get a free book! I never had my own books as a kid and when I got one it was like a secret treasure.
Welcome to 2009. Now days the library is giving out prizes like WII systems, iPod touches and a host of other techie toys that will assure kids are in front of the tv or lost in a set of head phones. It seems a bit counter intuitive but that didn't stop me from inquiring about the age limit for the program. Teens, you say? How about 19-year-olds? (Hey! I could pass...)