As a reader of a personal finance site, you may be expecting to find another post about how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is going to affect your stock portfolio. After all, that’s what many personal finance writers have been writing about this week.
But I’m going to ask you to think about the lens you currently bring to the situation and then change it. There are many different ways to think about what is going on in Ukraine or any crisis.
In my experience, in any crisis or emergency situation – whether it is a natural disaster, emergency, global or local situation – when something goes wrong, we have a particular lens through which we view the event.
In a Crisis, Change Your Lens
Here are some of the perspectives we bring to the table in a crisis. Which do you currently have? Which other perspectives should you consider?
How is the situation going to affect my personal economics? Will it affect my stock portfolio? Raise gas prices? Cause a downturn for the company I currently work at?
How is the situation going to affect global economics? Is it going to shift the supply and demand of certain goods? Will it affect shipping routes? Will it affect international stock markets? The U.S. stock market?
How is the situation going to affect politics? Is it going to unite or divide the United States? What about globally? How will each country’s response affect its political standing in the world?
How is the situation going to affect my personal security? What about the security of the city or country in which I live?
How is the situation going to affect the environment? Are there implications for climate change?
How does the situation affect travel plans? How does the situation affect where I might travel to or not travel to?
How does the situation affect my personal social ties? Do I have friends or family who are affected?
How does the situation affect humanitarian efforts? What can I do to personally help those in need of assistance?
The Bottom Line
There are a lot of different ways to think about any situation or crisis. It’s important to keep an open perspective and not get pulled too far into only maintaining one single lens of viewing a situation. Otherwise, you will get stuck.
Think about what lens you are bringing to the Russian attacks. How can you switch lenses and perspectives to get a better understanding of what is going on in Ukraine? Which lens do you want other people to see you wearing?
Who do you want to be?