I posted this quote from another blog last week in reference to the anniversary of the moon landing back in 1969.
Some people say that September 11, 2001 was the moment America best defined itself. I respectfully disagree. On the evening of July 20, 1969 we defined ourselves not by our fear of what could happen, but our dreams of what would happen, if we only dared to dream.
This is so true. Our society seems to be so fear driven these days and I really think it’s been full-tilt in that direction since 9/11. While eating lunch at the mall today the electricity briefly blinked on and off. This outage lasted no more than five seconds. This is not an uncommon thing; it’s hot outside, there are way too many air conditioners on and we are putting a lot of demands on the power supply. Sometimes there is just not enough juice to go around. I just went on eating my lunch but when it happened, more than one person near me gasped in horror and there was one middle aged woman who screamed like she had just been shot.
I found her reaction to be a little over-the-top. What is really sad about the situation is that it’s not the first time that I have heard someone react that way to a power outage in the past five years ago. My god, what would she do if there was something life threatening going on?
I think here in the states we really have this whole fear thing going on and quite frankly it’s become quite tedious. For example, Every. Single. Thunderstorm. is a severe thunderstorm. There are no regular thunderstorms anymore. Last week we had several “Severe Thunderstorm Warnings”, accompanied by an alert of the Emergency Alert System. Not one storm passed through the area and being on-call last week I was well aware of who was getting hit with storms and who wasn’t. No one within 75 miles got hit with a severe thunderstorm. A few scattered storms here and there, yes, but nothing that would be considered “severe”. A bolt of lightning and a clap of thunder is not severe. It’s just the way it is.
By the way, back in the day the Emergency Broadcast System was reserved for really important things like nuclear bombs, catastrophic floods, tornados and hurricanes. If the two-tones of the EBS were heard without the preceding “This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System…” message then you were headed for the basement. Something bad was going to happen. With technology upgrades, the dire sounding two-tones of the days of yore have been replaced by something akin to “duck farts” and they fire the damn thing off every time someone has bad gas. No one takes it seriously anymore.
Now I know that really bad news gets really good ratings in the news business, especially when you have to fill 24 hours of a dozen all-news stations simultaneously, but we really don’t have to have a panic attack every time the power goes out or there’s a lightning strike. I won’t get into the whole “we are in Central New York and we get snow in the winter” thing that people get hysterical about.
Many have subscribed to the training(?) of living in fear, especially since 9/11. Small wonder people are stress eating, drinking and taking all manners of medicines to cope with it.
How about we start living in hope. And for goodness’ sake, stop sweating the small stuff.