Dangerous storms containing high winds and heavy rain passed over our neighborhood last night. Thankfully we were blessed and had no real damage to person or property. The media coverage of this storm got me thinking about how the media and others like to scare us into paying attention to their programs. As I considered that idea I generated some questions:
Is it really necessary when trying to warn people to totally fixate on the worst-case scenarios? Have we become so callused to media hype that we ignore even the most stringent of warnings? What kind of impact is this constant use of scare tactics having on our lives? What other warning signs do we ignore in our lives because we have been over exposed to fearful forecasts?
My first exposure to panic broadcasting came during the Arab oil embargo of the 1970’s, I remember how the doom and gloom forecasters had us headed for complete worldwide financial meltdown. It didn’t happen. Forty years later we are still moving on. Some of the people who broadcast woe and anguish over every approaching danger are well meaning and truly see difficult times ahead. But some of the panic mongers are just shrewd marketers who know that fear sells and people can be stampeded into buying or investing if you sufficiently tweak their insecurities. What is the proper balance? I know it’s foolish to plan a picnic in the middle of a tornado warning, but I am sick of having my emotions jerked around for benefit of marketers and broadcasters.
Truth- Times are hard and can be dangerous- we need to pay attention.
Balancing Truth- Times have always been hard and people have survived worse than what we face now.
Truth- Storms are real and can be dangerous- we should take adequate precautions.
Balancing Truth- People have experienced tornados, tsunamis, and earthquakes before and not only survived but many are prospering.
Truth- Financial markets change, you can loose money if you don’t pay attention.
Balancing Truth- Some people make money in every kind of market.
Truth- Storms cause damage and you could suffer loss and your community could be affected.
Balancing Truth- Somebody has to rebuild those homes, so more jobs will be created.
Truth- There will always be storms and struggles in life
Balancing Truth- I can prepare and protect myself if I remember the most important step is not to panic.
As a people we are a lot more resilient than we think and we need to balance the fear and panic of the media with realities that with God’s help, hard work, and good friends and family we can survive what’s coming and maybe even prosper.