This recession has revealed a psychological rift in the world’s consciousness.

A lot of people are scared and angry. They’ve lost their jobs, their businesses, their insurance, and in some cases their self-worth. They feel victimized by events, by elites, and by entities. So they bob up and down, waiting to be rescued by a government or a friend. They hunker down into a form of abdication of self-responsibility because it feels better to be justified in misery than vulnerable in power.

And the interesting thing about this group of people is how threatened they are by another group.

This second group of people may be suffering just as much in real terms as the first group, but they refuse to see themselves as victims. Instead of giving up and waiting to be rescued, they are scrapping and hustling and retooling. Starting businesses. Taking risks. Flexing muscles they may not have fully understood or claimed before. In crisis, they are making opportunity – and, in the process, taking responsibility for making themselves.

They are discovering something amazing about work: that it really isn’t about the money or the power or the status. In other words, not about the external rewards. Those rewards are nice (actually, they’re awesome when received in the right way) – but the real reward of work, or entrepreneurship, is the flowering of passion. When we take responsibility for our contributions to this universe, we discover that work truly is, in Khalil Gibran’s words, “love made manifest.”

[Ed. Note: When not contemplating social issues, Howie Jacobson is an expert on Google AdWords and driving traffic to your website. Get his complimentary AdWords ER Report “Why Most AdWords Campaigns Fail – and How to Make Yours Succeed” at]

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