I heard an acronym of the word FEAR sometime back, and I tucked it in my notes. An acronym is a group of letters forming a word; the letters of which stand for a group of words or a phrase. For example, NATO stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organization. HOMES can remind us of the five Great Lakes, Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior.
One acronym for FEAR stands for “False Evidence Appearing Real.” Now, I agree, like all acronyms, this is made up and truly isn’t the definition of “fear.” Here is the true definition: “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.”
Does that definition strike a chord with you? Because, this large nation of people we call the United States is focusing on fear because the “emotions” believe that something is causing a threat. This reaction of the populous is not entirely unfounded, but perhaps we have gone too far.
Let’s look at the first definition, “False Evidence Appearing Real.” Because we have a media that thrives on bad news, and focuses on one subject at a time, month after month, after month, the human psyche not only becomes addicted to hearing what this media will tell us next, but the psyche also absorbs and consumes this report as truth. It’s a fact that what one hears affects how one thinks.
Worry then becomes a day by day mindset. Worry, after all, is best defined as “meditating on fear.”
Real fear is not productive, because most of what one fears is not real, may never happen, and isn’t often valid. Much of fear takes root in the imagination. FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL. That’s fear.
Here are a few examples of our situation today with the COVID-19 scare. The official reports or “modeling” of our condition has changed from week to week. Figures such as “over 2.5 million have been infected with COVID-19” to new, greater numbers weekly ... sometimes less numbers, but always to fit the fear-mongering agenda. Hey, it makes money. People watch. Advertisers buy into the increased viewership, and the fear fever is perpetuated.
We see reporters with masks, talking of this deadly threat, and immediately after the broadcast, they pull the mask off the face, and join the rest of the crew who never had a mask on from the beginning. The reporters at the presidential briefings are the same breed. Cameras show them, unmasked before the broadcast, joking about their needing to put on their masks for the show.
I know you all can think of more examples. All of this perpetuates fear.
Fear squashes creativity, freedom, choice, decisions, and faith. Fear drives out hope, causes panic, and can create health problems. Fear creates inertia. Fear plants seeds of distrust and anxiety.
The fact that this wonderful country of individuals has so quickly relinquished its hopes, ambitions, dreams, and freedoms so quickly because of a continual barrage of fear causing, bad news reporting, economic windfall for the media, is unbelievable. A nation of people who are creative, industrious, inventive, busy raising families, and fun-loving, social beings are acting like scardey-cats.
Yes, we are faced with some kind of virus, and yes, we have been alert and willing to do whatever we can to cooperate with the health experts. But to risk destroying our economy, our way of life, our own self-destiny, and our very purpose of living over this?
And how are our American counterparts feeling at this point?
They are flooding the beaches, camping in record numbers at the lakes, mobbing the boardwalks. Somewhere in the recesses of their minds, they have decided that in spite of the threats of getting this virus, they have decided how they want to live.
C’mon folks. Time to roll up our sleeves, keep our hands washed, follow the health safety rules, and get back to work and living.
Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or juditabler@awomansview.