Now that lines at the pumps are shorter, if they exist at all, and fuel is again available at many outlets, it’s time to admit that a lot of us went a little nuts over the gasoline shortages throughout the area over the past few weeks.
Maybe it’s because we daily are being bombarded with news about how bad the economy is doing. Maybe the bark and bite of a presidential campaign has us unnecessarily at edge.
Maybe the trickle down from the sub-prime lending fiasco has us worried about our financial futures.
Whatever the reason, we acted for three weeks as though the world was coming to an end if every convenience store on every corner didn’t have full tanks of three different grades of gasoline.
Hearing the doomsday predictions, seeing the lines, listening to the reports of people fighting over fuel, sensing the seeming inability of residents to cope with what, in the grand sense of world trauma, was but a minor irritation, left you wondering what would happen if a true crisis were to occur at the local level.
We all need to take a deep breath. Yes, the nation is facing tough economic times. Yes, some people are losing their jobs. Yes, things may get worse. But we’ve been here before, and we managed to survive and flourish.
Times are tough, but we’ve got to keep things in context. The big news last week was that the monthly job loss was the worst it had been in — gasp — five years. Not 50 years, Not five generations. Five years.
The American people were once strong, resilient, independent and determined. Now we act as though the sky is falling if it takes us an hour to get a tank of gas.
Hard times are ahead. But there are hard times behind us too. We made it through those; we can make it through these, but not if we think the gas pump aggravation of the past month constitutes a crisis of monumental proportions.