There is a lot of fear being sold in the press. That’s right, being sold. Fear sells newspapers. Even the weather channel has created a sensational “spin”, weather as fear inducer. Fear is fun. Fear is exciting. It gets my adrenaline pumping. But, why are we so afraid? Seth Godin makes the point yesterday re. parody. Digging into facts and what is real takes time. Effort.
It is possible now more than ever for people to prosper. Poverty continues to be a problem, but it isn’t a new problem. It is an OLD problem. In fact, a lot more of us used to be a lot poorer. When kings, queens, pharaohs, etc. owned slaves by the 1000’s, they had all the wealth created by the labor of the many. Today, it is more likely we can create wealth or at least a decent living through our own labor. We must give a slice to the government in taxes, hopefully for roads, schools, health care and long term social security. Unfortunately a big chunk goes into military spending, which is bolstered by fear, these days, of terrorists.
But, the military has always gotten the lions share. We allow that because we are afraid. Afraid we will lose all that we have. How much fear is irrational? I argue a lot. Being swept up into a popular mindset is easy, in the short run. Thinking on our own, discerning fact from fiction takes work. It takes work to differentiate the “news” driven by a media with the need to sell papers and air time with high overheads, fearful themselves of not making enough money to cover their costs. So, they spin. Solutions are all about work. It takes work to find ways of being that inspire peaceful exchanges. Making our own goods, trading and selling them ourselves to our neighbors, fairly and because what we produce is of value, that is a lot of work. Finding out what is true, takes work. It takes digging. Being skeptical of sensation, where’s the fun in that?! Sensation is such a hit. Skeptics are such sticks in the mud! There’s a high in believing what a lot of others believe.
Conventional wisdom is anything but. It is conventional, but it is not wise. Authentic stories, truth, is often unpopular because it destroys long held beliefs. Changing our perspective, our minds about reality as we have come to know it can be painful. The fact that the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around landed Copernicus in deep dudu. The flat earth concept lived for centuries after Columbus landed in America, not mention all the others who had found the earth to be round well before him. Conventional wisdom is difficult to shift. People want to believe the sky is falling.