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Matt Packard, President and CEO

Fear Not Only Counterproductive but Destructive

Dear Neighbor,

During the dark days of the fall of 2008 I had the chance to meet a friend that I have known for many years. We grew up together. He runs a very successful business and has business with the bank. At this meeting he said to me with unusual feeling, "Matt, no matter what happens to the economy I promise to you that I will pay you back all that I have borrowed." I was surprised with his feelings. I looked into his eyes. He was a man that had true fear for the future. I don't think that he is alone in that feeling.

That fear is not only counterproductive but is destructive to the healing process that needs to take place in the banking industry and really all of our country.

As citizens in this great country it falls on us to drive fear not only out of ourselves but out of others. That is not an easy task because you all know that fear sells. I hope that you will forgive me for giving a quote out of the Bible but I think that it illustrates the point. It says, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

May I suggest three things that we can do that will help us:

  1. Realize that no one is going to help you in your challenges. In our present day society we tend to look to the government to solve our problems. We have all witnessed the fulfillment of the statement, "Too big to fail and too small to care." You and I are too small for the government to really care about. That should not discourage you but empower you with the knowledge that it is all up to you. You have the power to succeed or fail. Really, was that not the original idea of our founding fathers?

  2. Find pleasure in the journey. I know how that sounds in the environment that we are in but think about it. Find humor and something good in each day. Bob Newhart said, "Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it, and then move on." If you are not prone to laughter or humor look up and see something beautiful, a sunset, a mountain, an amazing statue. It is all around us.

  3. Don't fall for the negativity in our world. It is really easy to find fault or to criticize something or someone. The media has certainly perfected the art of negativity. Try turning the TV or radio off and spend a week not being filled with all the negativity that is being pushed at you.

Don't make fear a part of your life or the lives of those that you have influence over. As members of our communities we all have the responsibility to lead our cities and towns not in fear but in the belief in the greatness of our country and the recovery that will happen. Remember that we have been given a spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. We need to use them.

Matt Packard
President and CEO
Central Bank

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