From today's Bradenton, Florida newspaper - a publication known as the Bradenton Herald - comes this kernel of attempted wisdom, reflecting back on the old year and (pun intended) Heralding the arrival of the new year, 2009.
The author writes:
To be sure, much is unknown about what the coming year will bring.
As myriad economic disasters, yet unseen, unfurl from Wall Street to Washington, to the checkout lane at the local grocery store, caution is in order. So gather ye nuts while ye may: Count your blessings, take good care of those around you, and remember the wisdom of the lowly squirrel as you bid farewell to 2008.
Accompanying this short essay is a rather charming photograph of an aforementioned "lowly" squirrel. Funny but he doesn't look "lowly" to me. He looks downright cute and appealing as he stands on his hind legs, obviously interrupted in the rather sensible act of seasonal nut-gathering.
He's doing the right thing: He's not putting his nuts into a tumbling real-estate market, nor is he investing his acorn in hedge funds (or any other kind of financial shrubbery, hedges or otherwise.) He is not trading them for losing lottery tickets nor placing bets in the trifecta at the Squirrel Derby. He is not engaging other squirrels in pyramid schemes, nor is he buying other nuts on margin, or doing seriously heavy day-trading that might, in this climate, bankrupt the whole forest.
For this he is complimented of course, but the essayist has nonetheless deemed him "lowly." Odd how an animal who can dance in the treetops when the rest of us need ladders to make our wobbly, precarious way there is deemed lowly. Odd how his investments (the acorns) will obviously grow when many of our own human investments are being cut down by the economic axe day by day.
If this is what lowly means, find me an empty branch in the nearest oak tree and pass the acorns, please.