Stanley Bing

Bing: Enough of the apocalypse already!

This doomsday business just gets old after a while, you know?

Email | Print    Type Size  -  +
By Stanley Bing, columnist


(Fortune Magazine) -- And the land was overrun by prophets of doom, and with them came four horses, and on those horses were four riders, and the names of those riders were Fear and Anger and Gloom and Panic.

And these gloomy, mostly pudgy and balding prophets shouted from the rooftops, predicting the end of happiness, the end of the dollar, the onset of starvation, the collapse of markets globally, and the hegemony of China. And those who prophesied the worst got the most airtime.

And darkness reigned upon the waters, and a cloud of verbose unknowing spread across the globe.

And the people gathered into groups, each one certain of its own path. Those who followed the horseman of Fear stuffed their possessions into coffee cans and mattresses and repaired to their basements to cringe. Those who followed Anger went into the streets with pitchforks and blogs. Those who followed the horse of Gloom feasted on cable news, gobbling down reports on the poor souls who followed the horse of Panic, who spent their time dining on their own entrails.

And it was the morning and the evening of the first day of the end of the world.

One hundred days made their way across the Möbius strip of time. And the next morning, a lone bird was heard a-tweeting. A few among the fearful, angry, gloomy, panicky horde began to stir and awake as if from a dream. There were those with short attention spans, who simply needed a new tune to which they might dance. There were the loyal, who had succumbed to the dark charms of the abyss but longed to return to the system they loved. There were the rational, who saw logic in the notion that even the clock that runs the universe runs in cycles. There were the irrational, who believed that after times of trial, things always get better.

And these people came together, gradually, until they made a new host. And its members spoke up about things they had noticed even during the blackest moments in the pit.

They saw that the powers that protected their checking and savings accounts had not fallen into the void, and that their deposits were now insured for up to $250,000, which even these days is not chicken feed. And they saw that it was good.

And they saw that certain stocks seemed to have hit a floor and were now trading at very attractive multiples.

And they perceived that not every single financial entity had failed.

And their hearts leapt as they saw that while many people had been cast down utterly, others were still walking around and drawing breath, and that these folk continued to shop, purchase cars and homes - sometimes for quite attractive prices - and attend very expensive colleges.

And before them was a choice: to live with those who waited for the end in terror, or to strike out for the future alongside those who were brave enough, or simply too uninformed, to have relinquished all hope.

And they chose life. And it was a lot better than the alternative.

And these hardy souls went out among the miserable shopkeepers with whatever coins they could spare and spread them around the marketplace. They sowed. They reaped. They responded to advertising. And when they beheld the prophets of doom dispensing negative messages based on dank scenarios of their own creation and heavy doses of useless hindsight, they raised their voices against them, saying, "Enough already! If you knew so much, why did you not predict this disaster or do anything to stop it? Begone!" Then they went out for dinner at a moderately priced restaurant. Paid in cash too.

And it was the evening and the morning of the first day of the rest of our lives. May it come soon!  To top of page

Tell us about your crazy boss
Is your boss heading for a self-made disaster? Scared of his own shadow? Just plain weird? Share your insane workplace story.
ExecutricksThe central question of every hardworking person's career is how to work less hard while still being able to buy an expensive bottle of wine without trembling. The answer is simple: Retire while still working! (more)

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.