U.S. Experiencing Dynamic Extremes

On tonight’s national news, two emerging stories struck me as being unbelievably ironic. They obviously reflect the chaotic nature of our current environment across this country. I’ll avoid sharing my opinion and allow you to draw your own conclusions. However, I would ask you to do one thing … look and listen through naive eyes and ears as though you just arrived on our shores and knew nothing of our culture or current challenges. What conclusions would you come to?

Summary of Story #1

Sacramento, California, the state capital of the seventh-largest economy in the world, with a movie-star governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and an NBA pro athlete for a new mayor, Kevin Johnson, is also the home of a tent city housing more than 400 homeless men, women, and children.

The capital’s tent city sprawls messily on a grassed-over landfill beneath power lines, home to countless citizens with nowhere else to go. It has been here for more than a year, existing without running water or sanitation. It’s one of many tent cities located in this community alone.

Sacramento city officials announced yesterday that the famous tent city would be cleared out by the end of April. The evacuation is necessary, an official reports, because the tents are pitched on land owned by a utility company that plans to develop the site. Can you imagine being evicted from a tent city? What’s next? By the way, tent cities are springing up all over the U.S., and they won’t be hard to fill. More than 651,000 people lost their jobs LAST MONTH, and experts are predicting as many as 1.5 million MORE Americans will lose their homes to foreclosures this year.

Summary of Story #2

I’ll avoid naming names here as it’s the story which is most relevant. A bitter, high-stakes divorce battle is currently taking place in Connecticut between a Swedish countess (36) and a current company chairman (67) with an estimated net worth of $329 million.

The countess is demanding $100 million from her husband as she needs more than $50,000 A WEEK to maintain her lavish lifestyle. She filed court papers showing she has more than $53,800 in weekly expenses—more than most American families make in a year—including maintaining a Park Avenue apartment and three residences in Sweden. Her weekly expenses also include $700 for limousine service, $4,500 for clothes, $1,000 for hair and skin treatments, $1,500 for restaurants and entertainment, and $8,000 for travel.

Sharing this particular news story isn’t meant to place blame on either the company chairmen nor the countess. I’m sure they’ve both worked hard for what they’ve earned. It just makes one wonder if a small portion of that $53,800 PER WEEK might buy a better grade of canvas for some of those homes in tent city … not that these two particular people are obligated to do so.

What were they thinking when they decided to go to court?

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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