It’s All Good, Or Is It?

By Lyle Hill

My oldest child, Amy Rebecca, will regularly answer my question about how everything is going in her life by responding … “It’s all good.” I have noticed others using this same phrase when asked similar questions. It seems to have become a popular and common expression. Why, I cannot say. My daughter Amy is an optimist; I consider myself a realist. And I can tell you that not all is good in the world in which we live. Unless you don’t have a television, read a newspaper from time to time or you live in a cave somewhere, you too would have to agree that all is not good in today’s world.

Exactly 30 years ago, I was asked to write a “forecast column” for the coming year. In preparation for this, I made a few calls and gathered up some opinions on where our industry, in particular, and our country, in general, were headed in the year ahead … 1993 … and dutifully, I finished my assignment. The title of that column was “Still A Little Cloudy.” Not all was good in the industry or the world then, but there were some rays of sunshine, and certainly, all was not bad. Over the past three decades, I have written several columns for various publications that you could call … primarily because they are published in January … forecast columns. Some have been lighthearted and a bit silly. Some have been very serious with facts and figures to back up whatever I was saying. In my early days of writing, I even made predictions that were often very specific. Some years there were no such columns at all. However, this year, I was once again encouraged by more than a few people to put together some type of forecast for the coming year. The nationally recognized pundits and economists are all over the map with their predictions and forecasts. Some see good days ahead, while others predict a deep recession starting in
the year’s second half. In preparation for this column, I actually looked at some of the data that these “experts” are using to predict what the next 12-24 months will bring. As a few of you might know, at one time … about 25 years ago … I taught economics at Olivet Nazarene University’s Graduate School of Business. So I know the buzzwords and the formulas and all that gets used to tell us why we are where we are and why we are going to go where we might not be at present. It can be confusing. To say the least. As an old saying goes, “ask five economists the same exact question, and you will get at least seven different answers.”

Here’s what I know … actually, what I think because I’m not going to pretend to know what the coming year will bring us. I think the coming year will see winners and losers in all walks of life. Some will prosper due to wise planning, sound decisions and hard work. Some will prosper due to good luck and not much of anything else. Others will falter and possibly fail due to poor planning, bad decisions and lack of effort. Others will fail because of bad luck and not much of anything else.

I have been around long enough to have survived recessions, political upheaval, terrible wars, riots in our streets, countrywide shutdowns due to a pandemic, insane governmental decisions, leisure suits and disco music. I have seen success and failure up close— good times, economically speaking, and truly bad times. I have seen bad people prosper and good people fail. The same holds true for some business enterprises, too. Life, individually and collectively, is an ever-swinging pendulum. As a teenager, my wonderful father, Lyle Alvin, once told me, “son, no matter how bad things get, they will one day get better, and no matter how good things get, they will one day get worse.” He was right.

So to my incredibly talented daughter Amy, and to anyone else who uses the phrase “It’s all good,” I say to you, no, it is not all good. But it is all okay. Plan well, make good decisions and work hard. Those things certainly increase your odds of success. But no matter what … It really will all be okay.

Lyle R. Hill is president of Glass.com®, an information portal and job generation company for the glass industry. Hill has more than 50 years’ experience in the glass and metal industry and can be reached at lhill@glass.com

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