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A silver lining to the recession

In these tough times, we're finding strength in pulling together.

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For most of my life I have craved more time with my grandparents, especially during the winter holidays. The memories we share, the fires we stoke, the cookies we bake – these are times I cherish, times I dream of sharing with grandchildren of my own down the road.

But it's not just because they are family. I have noticed feeling this way with other people's grandparents as well. There has always been something different about the way they carry themselves, the strength of their embrace, the absence of "like" and "totally" and "whatever."

Conversation never centers on things, such as the latest generation iPhone or the best deals to Honolulu. We reminisce, or philosophize, or just catch up. We discuss – now more than ever – the Great Depression, the New Deal, how to squeeze something out of nothing.

And so, just as news of the recession worsens and the holiday season hits our pocketbooks (plane tickets, presents, the heating bill), I find myself cherishing the frugality of, well, everyone I know.

I don't mean to imply that these times aren't difficult, or scary, because I know first-hand that they can be both. And I understand that as we the consumers slow our consuming, the recession only deepens. But there is a silver lining here that is important to consider.

When times are tough, we tend to pull together – within families and communities alike.

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