I listened intently to the answer given by an economic historian. The question was blunt, but fair. “Has any economic stimulus program ever worked?” After several rambling caveats, the answer came. “No.”
I desperately want the good ideas we are throwing on the table to work. Our economy needs help. We need evidence that things are going to get better. Lives are on the edge. The lessons are here for learning. Yet, they are not the priority focus. We are living with an overarching cry is for help, hope, and compassion. Individuals, families, and communities are in trouble! Hope is in short supply. Evil appears to be winning the battle at hand. Good ideas are treasured and embraced with a sense of desperation.
I suggest putting ideas into two buckets. The first holds new ideas. As an example, when someone was “fed up with Judea and Jews, he went for a vacation to Caesarea.” (Acts 12.19) Going on holiday is a good idea, but it may not be the right one for us now. Examine new ideas with patience. As desperate as the situation is, we have more time than we believe. The caution is to never let our intentional approach prevent action.
The second bucket holds the principles we have come to know as truth. They have proven themselves. These include compassion, mercy, and community. We should embrace and act on these truths. They guide and sustain our planning in a way that is unique to true truth.
We face greater uncertainties than at any time in my history. Answers are illusive, seemingly impossible to grasp. Knowing what to do, even on a personal level is often a battle with doubt, fears, and uncertainties. This is where the two buckets makes a difference. I dip in the bucket of love and know I can act without hesitation. I reflect on the present, and pull good ideas out of the other bucket, evaluating them with a goal of executing the best ones I find. It is difficult, yet it is at the heart of living.