I haven’t had a good ole fist shaking, spit spraying rant in a while, so feel I am about due. This particular rant brought on by something my sister said in her recent post, a chat convo I had with a friend yesterday, and the wonderful yet sadly neglected by me blogs reinventing the event horizon and THE IDIOT SPEAKETH. Don’t ask me to explain the thought process. Putting up with the rant is enough work for ya.
American culture has at least one major weakness. We have a tendency not to recognize that there is such a thing as too much of something. We come up with great ideas, run with them, and then instead of stopping when they have served their purpose we keep running, faster and harder, until the great idea becomes an obsession that eventually causes us to fall flat on our face.
A few examples:
- Freedom of the press has become “no such thing as personal privacy”
- Equal Opportunity has turned into reverse discrimination
- Religious freedom has become the ultimate excuse
- Regulation for safety has turned into control for revenue
- Independence has become the inability to cooperate
- Caution has become fear … of everything
It’s specifically the last one that has got me on my soapbox today.
In our search for comfort and safety, we do our best to isolate ourselves from anything that threatens it, instead of strengthening ourselves to earn it. Strengthen our immune system to combat germs? Never. Just wipe out all the germs and pretend they don’t exist. Destroying the environment in the pursuit of personal wealth? Not at all. Just propaganda from those who oppose “progress”.
But to me the saddest thing we are doing to ourselves is eliminating trust in the pursuit of safety. Instead of teaching caution and how to recognize danger, and how to use our mind to actually avoid it, we take the easy way out. We teach our children that if you do not know it, it is something to be feared. We teach not to step outside of our safety net … unless of course there is profit in it. Then we can temporarily suspend our fear (though we will not lose it) for the sake of the more immediate comfort.
I have often said we have become a nation of sheep, but it is actually worse than that. At least sheep will recognize danger and run from it. We are attempting to pretend danger doesn’t even exist and are doing our best to hide from it. No we are not becoming sheep. We are becoming ostriches. Trying to hide our heads in the sand.
There is an irony to this pursuit. Because the “hiding the head in the sand” bit is actually a myth. Ostriches don’t in fact do that. So what makes us think that we will be any more successful?
Stop hiding in fear folks. Learn to distinguish between danger and the simply unknown. If we learn how to protect ourselves than we have a chance when we DO encounter danger. But if we deny it exists, or worse yet classify EVERYTHING unknown as dangerous, then we are lost when we actually come face to face with it. Stop teaching that hiding is the only way!