[Note: Today is day 8 of 10 in our annual Guest Blogger Series. Please remember: the Intramuralist may or may not agree with the opinion(s) expressed. The goal is respectful articulation.]
“Solar storm barreling towards Earth”
The headline made me stop and click on the link to read the July 14, 2012 AP article by Alicia Chang.
Solar storm. Barreling. Barreling towards Earth. That can’t be good.
“A solar storm is due to arrive on Saturday morning and last through to Sunday, slamming into Earth’s magnetic field.” (Emphasis mine).
Instinctively my heart races a little faster after reading the first sentence in the article. Barreling and slamming definitely have me a little worried. I just know this solar storm is big and dangerous.
Fear. Invisible, but potent fear enters my body with the air I breathe.
The fact is, reasons to be frightened are everywhere we turn. The radio, TV, and the Internet literally scream fear into our lives: shootings, climate change, social change, you name it. Our political pundits are especially skilled at pushing our panic buttons.
In his first inaugural address, Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Why is that? What are the ramifications of being fearful?
- Chaos instead of clarity: When panicking we tend not to think clearly or rationally.
- Cowardliness instead of courage: Self preservation trumps caring for others. Our survival instinct kicks in when we are faced with the imminent demise of our existence, livelihood, or even our way of life.
- Division instead of unity: Fear makes us trust less, and when we trust people less we are more apprehensive about engaging with them, which in turn, fosters unwarranted prejudice instead of true discernment.
- Pointing fingers instead proposing a solution: When busy playing the blame game, we often find ourselves too preoccupied with discovering who’s at fault instead of uncovering answers.
If being fearful causes us to toss out reason, can we choose to overcome our apprehension with something more constructive? Is it time for us to collectively take a giant step back and breathe some non-anxious air into our lungs? Is time for us to be courageous, confident, and informed?
Instead of reacting instantly to problem with deep dismay, ask questions, gather knowledge and find solutions. And have a little faith; faith in each other, and perhaps faith in something bigger than us.
Oh, and the solar storm…
The next sentence in the article read:
“Scientists say it will be a minor event… We don’t see any ill effects to any systems…”
And so I click on the next article, “Are Farmers Markets Safe?”
[Intramuralist Note: As one who has long been impressed and inspired by friend Sharon’s musings, see more at www.sharonsiepel.com.]