Updated: Jul 26, 2020
The longer I l
ive the more I realize how much people love sensationalism. We as humans are drawn to drama and excitement, even if it’s negative in nature. And negativity has a way of building upon itself, and somehow making itself much larger than what it often really is, leading us to believe that the very worst is going to happen.
There’s an old story in American culture called “Henny Penny.” In the story the main character, Chicken Little, goes around yelling, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” He thinks it’s the end of the world; but in reality, it’s only acorns hitting his head. Chicken Little, through his excitement, is able to convince all his friends that the worst is going to happen.
It’s easy to become fearful when we are inundated by news outlets vying for our attention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I’ve been particularly interested in the Corona virus, and I’ve noticed that some people on social media are going crazy with predictions of doom and gloom, and the spread of infection, and government cover-ups, and rising death tolls. And yeah, it can become quite scary to contemplate such things.
The world, in general, and our lives, specifically, can be very scary at moments. The fear of the unknown, whether imagined or real, is debilitating for many people. So, here’s a few tips to help with the Chicken Little mentality that is so pervasive today.
(1) Realize that anything is possible, but not probable. Could there one day be a pandemic which wipes out millions of people? Yes, it’s possible, but no, it’s not probable. It’s important to live our lives with this distinction, in realizing that it’s possible for bad things to happen, at any time, but the chances of a virus spreading, or an economic collapse, or World War III is very unlikely. Look at it this way: If you had a 99.9999% chance of winning a billion dollars in the lottery and a .0001 chance of losing if you didn’t play, would you take that chance? I think most of us would. Your chances of enjoying life are far too good for you to hold yourself back, or live in fear, due to a small likelihood of something bad happening.
(2) Know that resources are available if something bad does happen. We are so blessed to live in a country where there are so many resources to help people in need. From homeless shelters, to food pantries, to job programs, to food stamps, college tuition assistance programs, Medicaid, and the list goes on and on. All of us, especially if we live in America, have a safety net of federal, state and local resources to draw upon should we experience the worst life brings us. A few years ago, Hurricane Rita roared through my hometown here in Lake Charles and brought widespread devastation. Many people lost their homes and their livelihoods. But during the worst of what Mother Nature could dish out, FEMA and other disaster relief agencies were here to provide support and hope to a community crushed by a storm. And now that disaster is only a distant memory.
(3) Draw upon the support of family and friends. My ex-wife and I had a home foreclosure about 15 years ago. It was a devastating financial blow to us and we had to move back in with my parents for about a year while we saved money and rebuilt our lives. As humbling as that experience was, it made us closer as a family, and gave my kids some valuable time with their grandparents. The majority of us have family and friends who we can turn to when times get tough. So what if we all have to live together for a period of time, or share each other’s resources during a tough life transition? If it draws us closer together, it’s really a good thing.
(4) Trust God. Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. When life gets overwhelming, due to a disaster or a pile of dirty dishes, we can rest in the confident knowledge that God is in control of both the universe and our lives.