My husband and I lived in KC for a number of years.  In 1993 there was a big flood and a cute river town, Parkville, MO, was threatened by the approaching flood waters.   We wanted to do something to help so we went to volunteer.  We got our tetanus shots and joined the 100’s of people who had the same goal in mind –  help save this charming little town, its businesses and residents.  We found ourselves milling around with all of these people.  Talk about “Gawker’s Slowdown”!  We were just standing there trying to get our arms around the enormity of the task at hand.  How were we going to stop this natural disaster from destroying our town? It suddenly seemed too big, the disaster too inevitable.  

My husband picked up a shovel and then pointed to a person and asked, “Could you hold the bag for me?”  He pointed to another group and said, “How about you?  Go over there and start filling the bags and pile them up there.”  We all started working. A woman standing close to me asked, “Is that the major?”   I chuckled and said “No, just my husband.”

Parkville still stands today.  It is still a lovely small community on the river.

Our current economic crisis is enough to make even the strongest among us feel overwhelmed or powerless.  Jobless rates are soaring and those with jobs wonder if the next round of cuts will include them.  Don’t allow yourself to become paralyzed by the enormity of the challenge.  Don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do.  Just pick up a shovel or a phone or a mouse and reconnect with your networks.  Listen for opportunities that might help you or someone else in your network.  

If we all collectively pick up the shovel just think of the possibilities.