The financial crisis doesn't discriminate when it comes to its victims. It doesn't care if you are rich or poor, just starting out in life with your first job, or are about to retire.
It doesn't take into account that you have a family to support, perhaps sick parents to take care of, or a loan or mortgage to pay off.
Some people have been lucky and have escaped the crisis with little or no loss to their personal finances. But very few have been able to stay out of its reach completely.
Millions of people have been affected by it. Millions have lost their livelihoods because of it. Millions have lost the ability to take care of their loved ones thanks to it. Millions have lost everything to it. And millions despair about how they will ever recover from it.
Who would blame them? It's been nearly four years of extreme stress, of not knowing what is going to happen from one day to the next; whether there is a job to go to tomorrow, if there is enough money to put food on the table or to pay the mortgage or rent at the end of the month.
There's so much to worry about - and much of it, really, is too complicated for many to understand. Simply paying for your day-to-day needs, taking care of your family and saving for your future has evolved into a nightmare of complex debt, bond, derivative and trading debacles that affect our everyday lives.
The simplicity of growing up, studying, getting married, having a family, paying off a house, paying for your children's education and saving for your retirement has become caught up in the web of complicated global economics, where what happens on the other side of the world can also affect your life; where even many bankers can't explain exactly what it is they are doing - or why it all collapsed and how they lost trillions (collectively).
When you think about the economic plight of the world, it can be an overwhelming feeling. You are helpless because, in so many ways, your financial future depends on a healthy global economy. But the so-called experts, who are meant to know how to get us out of this mess, can't seem to come to a consensus like professional adults should, let alone stop the crisis from spreading its ugly tentacles to yet another country, another city, another family, another person.
That's the big picture.
On a personal level, I have been touched by many people in the UAE whose lives have been irrevocably changed because of the crisis.
One of them is Kerrin Matthey, the British expat I wrote about two weeks ago. She has been in Dubai for seven years, but is facing jail because she lost her job and can't keep up with her loan repayments, which she took out to help fund a property investment. The development hasn't started. She can't get another job because the police have her passport, which means she can't pay her loans. She's got nothing else to lose. Except for her freedom, of course.
I've also talked to another woman (who I can't identify because of a confidentiality agreement she had to sign as part of a class-action lawsuit she has joined with her fellow investors) this week about how she is struggling to get her money back after investing Dh1.2 million (US$326,695) in two stalled property projects in the UAE. She's not facing jail, but that was her retirement money.
Although Ms Matthey's situation is extreme, it is also a humbling experience to watch somebody plead for help because their freedom depends on it. Her court date is getting closer and she is getting desperate.
Which brings us to last Monday. She turned up unannounced at First Gulf Bank's (FGB) Khalidiya branch in Abu Dhabi, hoping to find somebody who could help her because she felt she wasn't getting anywhere with the lender's collections department in Dubai. They sent her to their branch in Mussafah.
And it was here that she found some compassion and understanding. Not quite a solution to keep her freedom but it has given her a little more hope than she's had since December, when she first alerted the bank to her predicament.
They called the vice president of collections and explained her situation. He was in Abu Dhabi this week and wanted to meet Ms Matthey. They wanted to know if she had a letter of offer for a job. She said that was impossible because the police had her passport.
She's hopeful that perhaps she's had a breakthrough. That perhaps she's found the one person who can help. Without doubt, she's had more understanding in one day than in the six months she's been trying to sort out her problem with FGB's Dubai collections office.
But if there's one thing she is certain of, she won't be giving up. Just like the millions of other people around the world who, although not facing jail, are fighting for their own financial survival.
And that's because it's human nature to keeping trying.
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