Friday, March 13, 2009

Steep Inclinations

Lately it seems that everywhere I drive I’m parking on an incline. I find myself yanking back the handbrake with both palms and willing that the car doesn’t roll downhill. Before I walk away, I glance back over my shoulder a couple of times to make sure that it’s cooperating and holding its position. So far, so good.

As more and more fascinating Austin entrepreneurs cross my path, I’m enamored with their determination to stay up in down times. Their impressive enthusiasm and confidence lift my spirits and build hope. If anything will solve the problems facing the nation, it’s the brave characters of these individuals. Ten years from now, we’ll look back on these challenging years and continue to draw from their strength, initiative, and genius.

Not everyone will carry forth a successful business into the next decade, but these folks are out there living their dreams at a time when wringing of hands seems more common than a friendly hand clasp.

I stop and think about what’s my spiritual hand brake; what prevents me from slipping into a panic over the economy, social and racial intolerance, and environmental ills. At the end of the day, it’s my faith in people – individuals who strive to connect and create a better world. In my faux Streisand voice, it’s people who believe in people, and I’m grateful for those who keep encouraging me when the hills get so steep.

So my question this week is: Who believes in you? What helps you hold your position and prevents you from backsliding? As we build our new micro-communities, who will you support shoulder-to-shoulder and how? As the first layer in the new pavement, I suggest we roll out faith in one another, tempered with a little forgiveness for being human, in all its glorious imperfection.

It’s time to pop the brake, push it into gear, and go.


  1. ...with the top down, hair blowing in the breeze, heading toward parts unknown.

    I've enjoyed reading your blog, Beth. Thanks for allowing me to follow along en route to finding that newness and awe we all know lurks just under the surface of daily life.


  2. What a thought-provoking post! Thanks for prompting a question worth asking.

    Numero uno on my "believer" list is my husband, who calls me,"the best investment he ever made" and never grumbles when the income from my writing ventures only offsets a tiny portion of workshop costs, club memberships, and numerous trips to Staples for ink and paper.

    A new member of my believer team is my adult daughter, who has decided my ideas actually could work for her, (after being "repackaged" to fit her age group and lifestyle.)

    I think both of them believe in me because I believe in myself. I'm no Wonder Woman,but I do have a willingness to explore the things I imagine, and the sense of humor to laugh it off if my ideas don't pan out.

    I remember being "RIF'd" (reduction in force for you young folks) in 1982, and losing my nestegg in the market crash of 1988. I survived by going back to basics with my lifestyle and not being too proud to do any job that paid a fair wage and wouldn't get me arrested. There are so many material things we can live without, and so much experience we can share with those willing to listen and learn.