Ignorance, and fear. These seemingly ordinary traits can lead otherwise well-intentioned folks down perilous paths. If left unchecked, they can bring civilization to its knees (then again, that may just be my own fear and ignorance speaking). Here’s what I mean:
- Elections. The ability to select and replace the people who will represent us in government is a hallmark of democracy. Voters with neither the time nor inclination to thoroughly weigh platforms or think through the unintended consequences of well-meaning policy proposals are asked to choose our leaders. In this age of misinformation, folks fear the terrible things they are told, oversimplify a complex set of trade-offs and demonize the other side. Politicians pander to these biases and fears. Not a recipe for enlightened government if you ask me.
- Pandemics. Wash your hands often, cover your cough and avoid crowds if you can. Or... compulsively watch the news, obsessively worry about each new tidbit that comes-out, cancel all travel and sell all your stocks. Which of these behaviors sounds rational and appropriate to you? Just sayin'.
If, like me, you find yourself rolling your eyes so far back into your head you worry they may get stuck there, remember you only control your own actions. We’ve all been guilty of fear and none of us can know everything. Self-awareness and a willingness to eradicate fear and ignorance from our own minds is a solid step in the right direction. Life is good and it goes on whether you choose to enjoy it or choose to let the monsters in the closet paralyze you. Life is beautiful, don't worry about things you can't control. Have a donut, enjoy the outdoors and take some pictures while you're at it.