Thursday, November 26, 2009
I never thought I was an alarmist, but lately I've noticed a lot of alarmists out there and it's making me rethink how I react to issues. Often when I learn something that I have a strong opinion about, I react as an alarmist. I panic; my mind races; i'm easily agitated; I share the opinion readily with others; I expect others to react like I do. That is the definition of an alarmist. It's an unrational reaction to a nonsensical issue. It's also called a knee jerk reaction. With careful thought and consideration, a rational and intelligent person can view the issue with nary a wince. A logical person will evaluate both sides and arrive at a conclusion that requires little to no elevation in blood pressure.
After seeing the increase in alarmists in the world lately, I have to reevaluate my own tendency to do the same. For example, the swine flu. Every day we hear in the news that more cases are being diagnosed, schools are closing, people are quarantined and some even die of the illness. We also hear that there is a vaccine but there is a shortage or it hasn't been released yet. Oh!....the panic and pandemonium this is creating! Now let's look at the other side. The swine flu is not much different than the regular flu. Aches, pains, fever, lethargy. The vast majority of those who have gotten it in the US have fully recovered. Those who have died had compromised immune systems that would have died with any communicable disease they would have been exposed to. Sad, but true. The vaccine? From what I've heard, the long term effects are not known yet, since there has not been enough time to test it. We do know that too many vaccines are not good for us. It introduces too many toxins in the system and THAT weakens our immune system that we are trying so hard to protect. And what's with the shortage? Is it a way for the government to hold back as leverage for healthcare reform? Are people supposed to beg for it? Is the swine flu intentionally being put out there for the alarmists to do their job and get us all worked up about the pandemic and create a desire to have this unattainable vaccine that hasn't even been fully tested?
It reminds me of the time when I was a child and I was on a summer vacation with my family. We were outside on a very hot day on a tour that seemed to last forever (as it always seems when you're a kid). I was getting thirstier and thirstier as the time dragged on. At the end of the tour we hit a cafe and my dad ordered sodas for all of us. I grabbed the first one that got set on the counter, and chugged it until my thirst was quenched. It wasn't until the glass was half full that I had realized that I wasn't drinking a cola, but a root beer, which I hate!! It tasted awful after my desire for drink was satisfied. Had I not been so desperate to drink something, I would have taken the time to notice what drinks were being set on the counter. I would have selected the right one for me, based on logic and patience and not out of desperation.
After that episode, I try to way out the pros and cons of every decision and do my research carefully. A knee jerk reaction can hurt not only ourselves but others. Patience is a virtue
Ecclesiastes 7:7-9 (NIV) reads "Extortion turns a wise man into a fool,and a bribe corrupts the heart. The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.