If Orson Welles and War of the Worlds taught us anything, it is that Americans have a love affair with the mysteries of the unknown. Generating hysteria regarding the unfamiliar just isn’t that difficult because we’re all vulnerable. It is, in fact, one of our favorite pastimes and even basic science such as hydraulic fracturing, that’s been around for 60 years, can serve as the fodder for fear mongering when people are unaware of the basic facts.
I’m sure cave men somehow communicated to their young their own fears of what was beyond beyond the cave entrance. That was wise back then, as we were not necessarily the top of the food chain. Our primordial ancestors probably used hand gestures, a primitive language of grunts and groans and crude wall paintings to instill a proper fear of the outside world. Plato even wrote about this.
Today, thousands of years later, we see the same tactics. Why? It worked then, and still works today. Books have been written exposing the ways of fear and how clever people incite it as a method of implementing their own agendas. Yet, fear is not all bad. As parents, we use stories from our past to teach lessons based on past mistakes and explain to others what to fear in the real world. We try to balance it, however, with the exercise of prudence and reason. One of the main lessons I was taught, for example, relies on just three words; verify,verify and verify. Get to the truth without causing alarm by verifying the facts. Don’t speculate, which only causes paralysis, but, rather, investigate and determine the facts.Read the rest of the article here.
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