Sunday, November 1, 2009

Do you also wonder about this?

It has accompanied me for a long time
this pervasive sense of fear.
Childhood circumstances
made me alert to danger,
afraid of loss.
But I'm an adult now.
An adult who has done her work
cried her tears
reframed her losses
expanded her world view
grown into some of her talents and abilities;
and yet
occasionally . . . still . . .
I quake.

Yes, I've learned how to be in the moment
Yes, I try to love what is
Yes, I know most things are out of my control
Yes, I know how to release fears and try to live from a stance of love
And yet why is it I can still discover my liver in a quiver?

Is it the H1N1 in every handshake
the aluminum in antipersperant
the lysteria in the salmon or the salmonella in the chicken 
or undoubtedly the e-coli in our spinach?

Perhaps it's the pickpockets waiting at the airport
the threat of imminent economic collapse
the long-robed pedophiles in the parsonage
or the  teenage pirates on the high seas?

Could it be the tsunamis from the earthquakes
the 'sleeping' pilots in the cockpits
the rising toll of joblessness and homelessness
or the threat of global warming?

Is it the creepy crawlies on our keyboards
the cholesterol in those quarter pounders
the arsenic and chlorine in our water
or the bacteria hiding in our showerheads?

Maybe it's the nasty nitrates in the salami
the plaque in everybody's arteries
the ponzi scheme from my new investment broker
or the killing fields initiated by blatant lies? 

Is it the religious zealot announcing Armageddon
the looming threat of cancer from the sun
the sexual predators around every corner
or the meteorite headed down to earth?

Is it the fear of dwindling rainforests
fear of mononucleosis from a kiss
the desperation of starving millions
or airline passengers with bombs in their shoes?

Are there drunken drivers speeding toward us
thieves vying for our identities
mercury in our tasty tuna
or Osama's suicide bombers in our midst?

Are we in danger of ingesting radio-active carcinogens
or is there HIV in those body fluids
Pornographers lurking on the internet
Stalkers outside your house?

Is the government about to go bankrupt?
Will you get medical care when you need it?
Will you lose your hearing at the concert?
Will they find polyps in our collective colons?

Is there a reason we are told
of  so many dangers?
Does it keep us discouraged, demoralized, docile
and easy to lead and mislead?
Does it scare us into submission?
Does it keep us from taking a stand?
Are we so frozen by imminent danger
that we become unable to act or advocate?
And is that exactly what 'they' want?
And why am I saying 'they'?

Are our leaders fear mongerers on purpose?
Is it all a clever control contrivance?
If we're continually scared by terrorist alerts
will we sheepishly comply with government agendas?

Or am I simply suffering
from media fatigue
or has the media,
:) as a secret agent of the government :)
imbued me with paranoid personality disorder?
And should I be afraid
of that too?

For those of you who do not know me well, please be advised that this post is done with semi-tongue-in-cheek!  No I am not going around quivering in my boots, but after laying in front of the television for a while because of a sore throat, I was inspired to write this post.  All of the news and advertisements seemed to be warnings about the next threat or danger facing the public.  While each threat seems to have merit, what is the overall effect of constantly hearing this on a person's psyche?  Does it make us freeze like a deer in the headlights?  Does it wear us down and make us unable to act for ourselves, our communties, our world?
What is the daily, monthly, yearly toll of this enslaught of warnings about impending danger?

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  1. It DOES make you stop and think, doesn't it? Especially with the H1N1. People are so panicked about that.

    This is a very thought-provoking post. Pretty soon people won't even want to leave their house!

  2. wait a minute ... i thought halloween was over! geez louise ~ you've got me scared to death!!
    just kidding ... but if one was to read this passage every day and really dwell on all these crazy things gone 'wrong', one would get fairly paranoid, yes no?
    i think if you were to write all the good things we've got going on ... but wait! that would come under one of those statistic things that 'they' put 'out there' that also 'gets us going' ...
    i'm telling ya ~ i'm ready to turn off the tube and the radio (except the music) and pay more attention to the natural world around us ...
    but wait, what is that funny mushroom cloud i see over there ...
    be afraid ... be very afraid ...
    prairiegirl xo

  3. I keep my dose of "news" to the barest amount possible. Eat well, be well, connect with those you love, contribute. Avoid the hysteria. The real news is available in the blogs of everyday people.

  4. I have taken to not watching the latest news programs for that exact reason. The way "they" (I have always wondered WHO is really behind everything) build everything into a major frenzy using scare tactics that would make even the most sane person quiver. I sometimes wonder if it wasn't better not having ALL the news shows as we do now. I think everything just needs to be put into perspective. Great true!

  5. Tonight, I just rewatched "Sicko" by Michael Moore, and while he may be controversial, he's right about one thing. People are controlled by fear, demoralization and debt. It was so sad watching what has really become of us. And so odd you would post this right now. I know that's no coincidence, Bonnie. It's what's on everyone's mind right now here in the U.S. The media is complicit, owned by corporate America now. Do I sound reactionary? Maybe I am. But I don't think so. I'm just reacting to what's true. And sad.

  6. Pat: Yes, it does seem like a bombardment, from which we need to protect ourselves!

  7. Prairie Girl: You had me going there for a minute - I thought "Oh no, if people are going to react to this by becoming more scared, I better remove the post!" And then I saw the tongue in your cheek!! It is so true, we even get warnings about what is dangerous in nature.

  8. Leslie: A beautiful, succinct summary of what we can do to minimize the input of fear. Thank you.

  9. Alicia: Perspective!! So true, and we have to protect our perspective - and, as you say, one way is to not listen to the media whipping up a frenzy.

  10. Barbara: I have not seen "Sicko" yet. Sometimes we need people like Moore to show us the extremes to just get the point. I do think corporations have much more influence than we know on the media and on government decision-making. He who has the money has the power, and unfortunately pulls the strings. Take Haliburton as an example.

  11. Divorce your TV. That's my two cents.

  12. Dan: Remember how the Unification Church conducted those mass marriages way back when? Perhaps we could have a mass divorce of the public from their news outlets!! I think your idea is worth way more than two cents.

  13. I have wondered the same thing at times. Especially the H1N1. People die from flu all the time. But it did make me laugh - you've about covered them all except .... drum roll....ID theft! Yep, that's one I think you forgot LOL! I cannot watch the media much anymore at all. Whatever they can think of to scare us, intimidate us, or make us buy something they will do. I use TIVO.

  14. Bonnie, who said, we have nothing to fear but fear itself?

    Personally speaking, I have enough of this surfeit of scare-mongering news, I (and I imagine) many others hardly take the stories in nowadays. If I miss today's scare, there'll be another one coming along tomorrow. So many of them have no scientific basis, so many of them are written and distributed precisely because they are frightening and thus sell papers and advertising. There is hype everywhere, take it all with a pinch of salt. Or, better still, go back over yesterday's stories, last week's, last year's stories, and see what has become of them.

    Of course, there are things to be genuinely afraid of, things to get worked up about and possibly go on the barricades for, we all know them.

    In the meantime, let's stay away from the worst excesses of the media and "always look on the bright side of life", as the Pythons sang. I am with Dan.

  15. Nancy: You are so right - a lot of it is motivated by profit - fear is a great motivator to consume.

    If you look again, you will see I did not forget ID theft - 'thieves vying to steal our identities'. There are so many there, it's hard to keep track. And there are many more that could be added. What a sad state of affairs.

  16. Friko: We really do have to make a concerted effort to look on the bright side. And there is such a marvellous bright side!!

    I like your advice - to look at last year's scary headlines and see what became of them.

    Down with TVs!

  17. I know it is tongue-in-cheek, but there is always truth in satire. Fear is an effective control mechanism. I have limited my exposure to the 'news'. I can become overwhelmed.

  18. Sandra: It can become overwhelming, as you say. Our ancestors never had to deal with this sort of frenzied fear bombardment.

  19. I related so much to your post Bonnie...I no longer watch TV news "shows", there are no "Walter Cronkites" any more...maybe I look through rose-colored glasses, but I prefer to filter what goes into my psyche. I live in my own small happy world or at least try to!

  20. I am coming to suspect that blogs are a better source of information on what is really going on in the world, than is the media. By gathering and concentrating all the evils of the world into one 20 minute newscast, the media gives us a necessarily unbalanced view of the world.

    Bloggers, writing about what they personally see and experience around the world, are a wonderful corrective.

  21. I made a promise to myself as of last Thursday not to watch the news for one week after I heard a newscaster telling parents to go online to check for online predators before trick or treating. One more thing to scare you to death. I will admit that I'd looked them up ages ago when a teenager went missing but who really sends their children out tresting alone anymore?
    Sometimes ignorance is bliss even if it's for only one week.

  22. Wow Bonnie!! Hope you are feeling better hon..ackkkk can relate!!
    I agree with you...there is just too much imput and it seems to be growing by leaps and bounds of late..the last couple of years. It has been so overwhelming that I just don't watch the news very much any more. My hubby is all freaked out about the 2012 end of the world thingy..drives me nuts! I try very hard to just tune it all out. Hugs to you hon, Sarah

  23. Wanda: You're right - we are the ones (in most cases) who control what goes in or stays in our mind. Reducing consumption of news broadcasts is certainly one way to do that! Thanks.

  24. Cathy: Yes, we can choose our areas of ignorance and our areas of knowledge and competence. I know integrative medical practitioner, Dr. Weil, recommends going on a 'news elimination regime'.

  25. Sarah: I've kept on top of my sore throat with the gargling with salt, vitamins, and rubbing certain acupressure points. And what about you? Aren't you down with the flu? Hope you are better soon.

    I grew up as a Jehovah's Witness and in the late '60s they were proclaiming that the end of the world (Armaggedon) would come in 1975. Hmmmmm. Tell your hubby that there have been prophesies about the end of the world since Jesus time and beyond . . . and the world is still here. Another example of how powers that be including religions try to make us afraid and then we will do as they say.

  26. Interesting way of looking at it! and i think you may have something there.
    I used to have a bumper sticker that said, "kill your TV". I need to get another one.

  27. Bonnie you had me laughing throughout.

    I know, it is like enough already.....

    Love Renee xoxo

  28. edifice rex: So we've had 'divorce your tv' and now your suggestion 'kill your tv' . . . Of course, you have all kinds of tools for the job!

  29. Renee: Yes, it's so extreme that it is funny! When I was laying there watching the tube, I wondered how long a list I could come up with in a few minutes . . . and they just flew off my pen and I'm sure there are many, many more.

    I'm going to follow your example and laugh - it is just too ridiculous!

  30. At my somewhat advanced age I try to rise above it. If we took notice of all the scaremongers we would either starve to death or live permanently down a hole in the ground (or both) - rise above it, I say! Risers of the world unite.

  31. Bonnie, I too have been home sick with a cold and watched more tv then usual. I have turned to reading and cleaning to pass the time. My soul couldn't take anymore sadness, fear, and greed.

    Hope you are feeling better:)

  32. there is so much that can strike fear in our hearts, keeping us from living the life we were meant to live...

  33. oh my!
    that was great!
    sadly i really am an anxious person, so i am definitely quivering in my boots most of the time! :)
    i have to stay away from the news!
    you are so right, even the tv ads seem like doomsday is upon us!

    thanks for sharing. and i hope you feel better! :)

  34. Weaver: I'm with you - let's rise above. 'Risers of the world, UNITE!'

  35. Brian: Yes, fear does restrain, constrict, stifle us and 'keep us from living the life we were meant to live'. Thank you.

  36. zuppaartista: So much of our anxiety can be traced back to our thoughts - so we should all be sweeping our minds free of this barrage of fear-inducing thinking.

  37. I'm uneasy and frightened when bombarded by these fears one or two or three at a time. But while reading your long list, I began to realize how ridiculous all this really is. Fear fear fear. Enough already. It's like Peter and the Wolf or Chicken Little. "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" They bombard us with so much of this crap, it becomes meaningless.

    I hope you're feeling better today.

  38. Loved this post, Bonnie! It seems that there is only bad news in the news these days. I wonder if people would watch if it was the Good News Channel...only happy things, loving and positive, inspiring things going on in the world? I think I would make that my channel! :)

    Hope you are feeling better! I love the way you really are a superior poster :D

  39. Hi Bonnie~ I think the resultant affect of all these warnings has been to make people withdraw from each other, put in an alarm system, not engage with neighbors, etc. Sad, isn't it? As for food-related fears, we have the home remedies you supplied us with as back-up! xxox

  40. I had to lol at your post. I hardly ever watch T.V. but my neighbor watches it religiously. She is in constant fear of everything on your list. I always tell her she watches way too much television. Great post.

  41. WOW! WOW! This is great! We stopped watching the news altogether because my son was suffering from anxiety induced migraines. He is a MAJOR worrier and was taking on the weight of the world. Not good for anyone, especially an 11 yr old. He is doing better, but does catch a glimpse once in a while and starts to panic. It is a scary world!

  42. know...I'm still scared that that Manhattan architecture will somehow, while we aren't looking, spread throughout the country and subliminally turn us all into fascist/communist schizophrenics.

    I feel a Risers of the World, Unite! blogpost beginning to bubble in a pointy little corner of my brain.

  43. Angela: That's it! "so bombarded it becomes meaningless" . . . but we have to be reminded it is so . . . Thank you!

  44. ChickGeek - Kelly: The good news channel - would be nice - but could be mistaken for a religious channel . . . Maybe like Barry said these blogs can become our good news channels.
    Thank you for the compliment - so appreciated.

  45. Margaret: Fear can make one isolate - good point. I just have to keep recalling the absurdity of it all. Also, remembering what Friko suggested: to check last year's threats and see if any came to pass.

  46. luksky: Well there you go - you have the proof right there. Goodbye CNN! Goodbye MSNBC! Goodbye TV!

  47. Missy: WOW is right. Imagine the effect on children and sensitive children like your son. How many of our little ones are absorbing all of this and living with fear?? Grrrrrr.

  48. June: Oh no! I've never considered being afraid of Manhattan skyscrapers - and I was in such danger all along.

    I hope Weaver of Grass reads your comment echoing her "Risers of the World, Unite"!!

    Thanks June.

  49. I absolutely love this post!! It is so true. I try to limit my time in front of the little blue screen or I get crazy with it all. Well done!

    Julie Magers Soulen Photography
    Blog of Note


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