Not only that, there's a story behind the story:
Thousands of children, exploited, invisible
Speak up, take a stand, and there's someone to write about it
That's how things get better
Wow, what a blur, this month of March, this month of madness. In my 52 years, there are very few moments that approach the level of intensity of March 2022. Unspeakable atrocities in Ukraine and senseless violence on the streets of America. The highest inflation in 40 years and extreme volatility in many global markets. Even the return of the NCAA basketball tournament with its first full crowds since 2019 blew out the brackets on day one, with just 3 percent of observers picking the St. Peter's Peacocks over the perennial powerhouse Kentucky Wildcats. My son, Conor, is very proud to be among that three percent. It seems everything has been blown out two standard deviations and the world as we know it has been turned on its head.
Give life's little guys some ink, and when it dries just watch what happens
Those kids will live and breathe right on the page
And once they're center stage, you watch what happens
And who's there with her camera and her pen
As boys turn into men
Somehow through all the chaos, I once again found my shelter in music, specifically, musical theater and Sparta High School’s production of Newsies. Those of you that are familiar with the show know just how inspiring it is but for those who are not, I strongly encourage you to check it out. The show is based on real events of 1899 where a group of “lowly” newsboys seek justice and fairness by staging a citywide strike against the powerful Pulitzer and Hearst media empires.
For three performances, on March 4-6, our community of families and friends from near and far were treated to three electric performances by 93 inspired souls. From the direction to the acting, the dancing, singing, pit orchestra and lighting; every production member provided us with a brief respite from the real world madness beyond the theater’s doors. Our Newsies spoke to the power of numbers and the refusal of allowing the status quo to define who they are and who they will become. They reminded us of the power of dreaming, the pursuit of a better tomorrow, and the execution of a plan that is required to turn that lofty vision into a reality.
Just look around at the world we're inheriting
And think of the one we'll create
Their mistake is they got old, that is not a mistake we'll be making
No sir, we'll stay young forever!
Whether it’s 1899 or 2022, life has many complexities beyond our immediate control. What are your 3 A.M. concerns and what can you do to flip the script and alleviate them? Like the Newsies, it may be time to assemble your own team of professionals with varied skill sets and a carefully crafted common vision. A team that can help define the unknown and reshape your future.
Whether your concerns are purely financial and relate to market volatility, liquidity needs and taxes, or are more intimate in nature, such as survivor needs, estate planning and legacy issues, collaborating with an experienced financial planning team can be very impactful. Just like Jack, Davey and Katherine in the play, the imagination and execution of a dream can and often does become reality, particularly when implemented in a purposeful and deliberate way.
But all I know is nothing happens if you just give in
It can't be any worse than how it's been
And it just so happens that we just might win
So whatever happens!
If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that status quo is a state of mind and if we wish to alter that paradigm, we can. While the pandemic has had many profound and far reaching impacts, we need only look as far as the “Great Resignation” as a prime example of individuals reimagining and then taking their future into their own hands. This is self-actualization in its purest form. Worker dissatisfaction with previous norms and the easy accessibility of remote work has undeniably altered the working landscape forever.
With examples like these, I am optimistic for the future. Despite the madness of March 2022, many have taken this time to reevaluate what the future can look like. An entrepreneurial mindset stoked by Keynesian animal spirits has taken hold and has paved a new path forward for many. Now is the time to seize the day, just like our Newsies sing in the show. Today’s new business startups offer a stark contrast to what we witnessed coming out of the Great Recession of 2008 and I for one am pleased to serve in the role of trusted advisor as we collaborate and plan according to the new normal and “watch what happens.”
Written by: Rob Armstrong
Inspired by: The Sparta High School (NJ) Newsies
"Watch What Happens" March 6th, 2022
Lyrics © Walt Disney Music Company, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Jack Feldman