Sunday, March 8, 2009

Facts Without Fear

I imagine most people agree that the words we speak and hear can have great power over how we think and feel.

I was looking at the cover of this week's Time magazine and read the title of a focused article on the cover, So You Think You're Insured? (Think Again). I can only imagine the response of many readers as they glance over those words. I'm sure the intent is to keep the reader alert and aware of their true insurance coverage and how to deal with the potential for bureaucracy within the medical and insurance systems. I'm sure it's effective in creating that response. Unfortunately, I believe it most likely also creates a deepening of fear for many readers.

I don't argue that articles such as this one should be published. They should. It is by learning from the experiences of others that we too can benefit and be better off as a result of that learning.

What I am referring to is the use of words to deliberately instill fear into the hearts and minds of the reader or viewer. Must we have fear to be responsible for our health, our finances, our homes, our pets, our children, our automobiles, our credit cards and our food choices? What would be the impact on the general population if we were given the same information, but in a positive and empowering way?

I believe most people are at their best when not in fear. I believe we can make more reasonable and sound choices and investigations when we are feeling strong and appropriately responsive, not fearful and reactive.

Look around you and notice some of the latest book titles, headlines and topics for prime time news show coverage. What I am noticing is most of the time my senses are fed fear-filled messages, rather than empowering and educating information.

What is helpful for me is choosing what magazines and books I will buy, what shows I will watch and in which conversations I will take part. My preference will always be aligned with facts without fear.


Pamela said...

Kate, I was thinking the exact same thing this morning. Reading the headlines regarding the recession - "worst since World War II", long and severe, jobless claims highest in 20 years, etc. Yes we are in a recession, and yes, it isn't going to disappear overnight. But I think it's messages like these that help to create depression and desperation and that sense of "I have no way out of this", leading to suicides, or murder/suicides with people killing their entire families because they see no other option. I really wish our media would start using a different approach to delivering the news.

Kate said...

Great point, Pam....the results of negativity are far reaching. I do wonder why people "buy" it so readily. Perhaps that will be another blog topic.

I appreciate your comment!