‘Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times’
We are living in an ideological battleground. Traditional ideals are eroding from school curriculums and businesses are being pressured to “progress.” Every battle from this war of opposing worldviews has financial fallout. From inflation to the closing of small businesses, everyday Americans are paying the price. We are at a crossroads where we must embrace the principles that made our country the envy of the world or continue to implement a system that history shows to never produce prosperity.
To quote a line from G. Michael Hopf’s post-apocalypic novel “Those Who Remain”: “Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.”
Whether it’s a family, military or country, leadership is responsible for the direction of the organization and actions of the group.
You’ve probably heard it said that if your kids are acting up, take a look in the mirror, they are a reflection of you. In the military, leadership is responsible for everything in their command. In our constitutional republic, we elect leadership to make decisions in the best interest of the people they represent. Those leaders, therefore, are responsible for the outcomes of the policies they create and the direction of our country.
I believe through this time of adversity we will become stronger. It’s during these hard times that I believe strong men will rise up and create good times of prosperity and a resurrection of the American dream. We have too many examples in our storied history where when faced with challenges, we arise stronger as a nation. In the meantime, while inflation soars and leadership deflects responsibility, we must look to how we as individuals, families and communities can provide, thrive and become those strong men created in tough times.
One of the best things we can do is support small businesses. Small businesses account for 99% of businesses and about half of employment in the country, according to the small business administration. The pandemic devastated many small businesses who were burdened by increased regulation, forced to shut down and operate at reduced capacity often without profit. For those who managed to survive, they need the support of the communities they serve. Stronger businesses create stronger communities.
Instead of grabbing a Starbucks coffee, consider stopping by a local coffee shop like Simply Bold on Penn Avenue or Four Twelve on Fourth Street in Hamburg. If you’re looking for a dinner out, skip the chain restaurants and stop by a local treasure like the Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery or Pourhouse American Grill. If the budget is tight, consider volunteering time at one of the many non-profits throughout Berks such as Olivet Boys and Girls Club or Keystone Military Families and make a difference for others in your community.
While the philosophical battles continue, there may be financial challenges. The good news is we can and will come out of it stronger together. Embrace the disciplines of budgeting, saving for a rainy day and get money working for you so someday you don’t have to work for money. Having a simple-to-follow financial plan that fits your life will give you confidence so you can provide for those you care about most. Remember, hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Together we will continue to keep the American
dream alive and well.
Ryan Daniels is a Financial Advisor and author of “Money Basics and Fundamentals.” He is host of the “Say Hi to
Money” podcast and an Army veteran who enjoys continuing to serve, “Supporting communities building financially strong families.” Visit his website at www.RFinances.com.