Two steps forward, one step back. Two steps forward, one step back.

With markets imploding, 50 plussers are losing jobs by the droves while seeing their nest eggs devastated. When I think of the economic journey we are faced with, regardless of demographic, and the responsibility that is laying on Barack Obama’s shoulders, I get the image of the mythological Greek Sisyphus endlessly pushing the boulder up the hill.  In the story of Sisyphus, however, he is doomed to an eternal struggle pushing the boulder up the hill as a punishment for a life of crime, including chaining the angel of death.  As I reread the story, I realized that Sisyphus was not the image I was looking for.  So I reread the story of Job.  Job has to endure the test of faith as God even as all his wealth, health and family are destroyed.  And, yet, he never loses faith, even as he asks God “why”. 

Well, that wasn’t quite the right image either.  So I pounced on the tried and true “two steps forward, one step back.”   Now, this one seemed closer to right.  Also called the “Frog in the Well”, the image is of a frog trying to get out of a well and for every two leaps forward, up the walls of the slippery well, it slips back by half, making for an arduous, but necessary journey.  If the frog gives up, it will drown in the well.  If it can make it out of the well, it will be depleted, exhausted, but will have survived death.

Since nothing is quite right to describe the trials and tribulations facing Obama as the leader of our nation, I came up with a combined image, instead.  Obama is in the well.   The water in the well is our economic death.   Obama has been elected by us, the people, to get us out of the well.  He’s climbing up the sides, two steps forward, one step back, with a humongous boulder on his back.  On top of that, it is raining.  Non-stop.  Now, if Obama were the frog, he’d likely be defeated.  I mean, how could a tiny frog possibly get out of a slippery well, in the rain, with a boulder on its back?? 

But Barack Obama is different.  He is not alone.  He’s asking us, the people, to work with him to get out of the well.  He’s shouldering the boulder in the rain, but he’s asked us to get behind him and help push.  It will still be two steps forward and one step back, but if we can help relieve the weight of the boulder and give him the support, energy, enthusiasm and innovation to fundamentally change how the US does economy, then, I’m pretty confident he’ll get us out of the well.  Oh yeah…also, we’re a people of good intentions.  Unlike Sisyphus.

2 thoughts on “Two steps forward, one step back. Two steps forward, one step back.

  1. We can do it. We are a strong nation and finally, we have a strong, brilliant leader. We must focus on the positive, stay away from the traditional negative news, trust, and all that other good stuff. Really, everything will be fine.

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