myth busters

[Welcome to our annual Guest Writer Series! Meet DG, Guest Writer #10 (of 12). DG is a conscientious, articulate father and professional who I’ve known to be a good listener and communicator. He is respectful and always makes me think … ]

Ever since my younger days, I observed our neighbors having to prove to their youngest daughter, who was 5 years-old, that there was nothing under the bed or in the closet spaces that resembled a boogeyman before bed. As we all have heard, you can’t prove a negative. However, in this child’s mind, Mom and Dad had just emphatically proven there were no boogeymen in the house. At least not for that night. Because the next night the hunt would restart. I could understand why a child’s mind would need to be reassured continuously, but it seems our modern adult minds are doing just such a game. 

It seems there is a never-ending quest to seek out and exaggerate all things we consider negative. These things are either real or imagined. It seems facts really do not matter for us. Recently my wife and I picked up her sisters from the airport. My wife’s license plate on her car is a specialized Nevada plate that identifies her as an Organ Donor. One of her sisters noticed it and insisted that she needed to replace the plate. Her premise was that by having an organ donor plate in an accident, someone would accelerate her demise so they could harvest her organs. My question to her was, “Do you mean to tell me that all 50 DMVs across the US and all emergency room staff and ambulance drivers met to put this all together?” Her response was, “Well, that’s what I heard.” She further said that since my wife is black, it was even more dangerous for her. I knew then it would be an interesting weekend with this particular sister-in-law. I love all my wife’s family as I do my own, but sometimes even they try my patience. 

The conversation later that evening at my home moved to what was for dinner. I had bought some tilapia, thawed it out, and was then going to grill them. Just then Boogeyman #2 for the day raised its head when my daughter who is a chef said, “You know tilapia is bad for you, right?” So now I’m both curious and furious. She started to tell me how harmful tilapia is, being farmed and the toxic things that are done to it. Meanwhile, the day before she ate some Gulf Shrimp –  caught from the Gulf of Mexico, the site of several oil spills in the past few years. She continued, saying it all comes from China (implying that it must be bad). I went and retrieved the package from the smelly garbage and looked on the package of the fish; it was, in fact, from Indonesia. So the “it all comes from China” myth was busted. I also looked at their website, which it made me feel better.  After reading through the site, no boogeyman was there for me to see. We all enjoyed the grilled tilapia, and none of us were glowing afterward except with the glow from a satisfying meal.  

The social media sites while informative are the some of the worst myth purveyors. They attempt to find boogeymen where none exist. Back in 2012 when the world was supposed to end on December 12th because it did not appear on the ancient Mayan calendar, I had the greatest time teasing my many colleagues who believed this latest horse pokey. Somehow having ancient Mayans as guides for our future seemed more logical than believing established science. There was even a movie “2012” that grossed approximately $770 million. So nearly a billion dollars was spent by consumers to reinforce their fears. To be clear, my psychological training is zero. But I am intelligent enough to know that this is the same mentality that makes us go through haunted houses and roller coasters. The only difference is our modern day adult often gets lost in the myth of these boogeymen and gets so caught up that they can’t wake up from the bad dream they are having. 

The continuous myth I want to finally uncover is Global Warning/Climate Change. I wrote about this in last year’s Guest Writer Series, sharing some facts and opinions with which not everyone agreed with me. The conversation has now reached a crescendo with some of the new politicians and entertainers. According to them, we have about 12 years until the next doomsday unless we make some drastic changes now. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Al Gore told us we had 10 years until Climate Change doomsday. The timeline continues to move so that it fits any timeline such advocates seek. Again, I believe we should do everything to keep our Earth clean and conserve energy and resources. We have been given stewardship of this 3rd rock from the Sun; this is truly Mother Earth. But some of these measures such as zero carbon emissions, no fossil or nuclear energy are not only ridiculous but almost impossible to achieve. The impracticality of having 7 billion people redo the way they live is a myth because we will always be chasing and hunting for something that is not there.  



One more thing…

Recently, after the death of the infamous criminal, Michael Epstein, his suicide evoked a lot of myths. Many Clinton supporters were implying if not outright saying that Trump and his people had something to do with Epstein’s death. Many Trump supporters were saying that surely the Clintons had something to do with it. Are we in a place where everything has a conspiratorial aspect to it? Can some things be just what they are at face value? 

We are better than this. Epstein was obviously an evil person. Could this not just be his final act of evil? I recently posted this on Facebook and some couldn’t help themselves, still continuing with the myths. So it has become clear to me that myths are here to stay. We just have to learn to take more deep breaths… WOOSAH…