Right after 9/11 happened, the stock market started tanking. We didn’t know if we were going to be at war or what kind of war this was going to be. We didn’t know if there were going to be more attacks, if they were going to be attacking the subways, trains and everything else. We didn’t even know who the enemy was, and the stock market was plummeting down.
Those of us that know there are 2 types of change: cyclical change and linear change. Cyclical being like the stock market; it will go down, but it will come back up again. Linear change being a one-way street. Once you get a smart phone, you’re not going back to a non-smart phone.
Understanding the difference between cyclical and linear change helps one put events like 9/11 into perspective, because it may be the housing bubble bursting, it may be the tech bubble – back in 2000 – that was bursting.
There’s always something that’s bursting. It can be a war. There’s going to be something else that’s going to burst. It may be the China bubble that will burst next, because there is a bubble developing there that’s going to have ramifications. That’s quite predictable.
But once again, things on a big scale that go down, will go up, and they’ll go down- there is that cyclical nature. So, we have to understand that.
In other words, when 9/11 was happening and those stocks were tanking, that’s when people like the Warren Buffetts were buying, because you buy when everyone else is selling.
Why? You know it’s cyclical. When everyone is buying and getting excited, a la real estate in 2006, 2007, and 2008, that’s when you start being careful, and you should start selling before the cyclical bubble turns and goes in the other direction.
The take away is when something bad happens, something good just happened. For instance, when you lose your job, it’s terrible, admittedly. But on the other hand, there’s an opportunity that’s created as well. You need to look at both sides; your opportunity to reinvent yourself and your career. It depends on how you want to look at it.
Additionally, 9/11 changed how we forever looked at security, it changed how we look at war, how we look at the types of war we fight, and it changed those things forever. In other words, there were some linear changes that took place. No matter how many aircraft carriers we have, they aren’t going to help us with terrorists. In other words, there’s going to have to be some other kind of warfare and some other kind of defense that we’re going to need, other than just the systems that we’ve had in the past, because now we have a new type of enemy and a new type of warfare.
That was some linear changes, because I just talked about the cyclical. There were some linear changes that took place there, as well.
So, if we look at any event, whether it’s 9/11 or the massive tornado that might level a city, like what happened not long ago in Missouri and some other places, or a major flooding that might have happened from a hurricane versus a tornado, that has happened in some regions recently that are in the news, we have to separate what are the linear changes that have happened that are not going back? In other words, these are permanent changes. They’re not going to go back. It’s not a cycle.
9/11, what did it do? It united us. It pulled us together. It made us come together and help. Look at the people in New York. It didn’t matter whether they were a democrat or republican; it didn’t matter what race one was; people pulled together and helped each other. That’s the beauty in tragedy. It’s happening right now, in the floodwaters of the East; it’s happening right now, in the fires in Texas; and hopefully, it’s happening right now in the people who have been laid off, looking for work. We come together, because together we are stronger.