Reasons to be cheerful 1, 2, 3…
So sang the late, great post-punk storyteller Ian Dury.
He was himself a man who faced challenges. Though he never allowed his physical handicap – polio – or his cultural one, namely an inability to sing very well, to stop him from reaching pop superstardom.
So, as we, all of us, face the challenge to our lives presented by COVID-19, it is as well to find our own reasons to be cheerful.
The Family Building Society is, as the name suggests, rather big on the idea of family and the severe restrictions on our movement has given us all a chance to reflect. Where I live, deep in the county of Suffolk, villagers and disparate farming folk, have come together. The local supermarket is full, well 20 customers at a time, with shoppers buying much-needed goods for their elderly neighbours, for friends and for family.
One reflection is that perhaps, we all spend too much time in our pre-COVID-19 lives rushing about between home, office, school or college; cramming in shopping, feeding the family and looking forward to our weekends and holidays for some respite. Many of us harbour a sense of guilt about the work/life balance, but perhaps the balance has tipped the other way.
Yet suddenly we all have abundant time with family, and, whether we like it or not, that is a good thing.
Perhaps not least, it is a good thing because it gives us time to reflect on many things. The UK, like the rest of the world, will face innumerable challenges financially with future generations somehow being required to pay for the consequences of economic pain and costly government interventions.
Reflection must also contain that the future is unlikely to contain much good news for the already suffering cash saver. Currently, with base rates at a savage low of 0.1 per cent - though this and other measures provide relief for mortgage payers – savers face the dilemma of watching their nest-eggs being eaten away by inflation.
Of course, the mortgage market is in stasis, as are hopes and dreams of homeownership for the already challenged younger generations. But capital is like water and must eventually find its own level. The hopes of home ownership are still alive, just different, and you can be assured the Family Building Society will find a solution.
- A new normal
Perhaps, as we move into the world beyond COVID-19, we may all find that the time we have spent with loved ones – when we finally can actually come back together again – was well spent.
Remote working will almost certainly become more prevalent, giving those struggling with care of children or elderly relatives, more flexibility to cope.
The world of business will find new solutions – there will be new jobs and even new professions emerging from this crisis. It will take time but necessity breeds innovation and the world of commerce will not stand still for a moment.
And, I think, many of us will find new friends, new bonds with those we have got to know because during this period of strife there has been a parallel piece of kindness and appreciation. That won’t go away.
So, one… two… three…
A bit of grin and bear it, a bit of come and share it
You're welcome we can spare it, yellow socks
Too short to be haughty, too nutty to be naughty
Going on forty no electric shocks
Reasons to be cheerful, one, two, three…
Written by Steve McDowell
The content of this blog is Steve McDowell’s personal opinion and comment, and views expressed here are his and unless specifically stated, are not those of Family Building Society. The content on this page is not intended to be advice in any circumstances.