Get Off The Fear Train

Have you seen the Fear Train? I’m guessing you probably have. It runs through virtually every community in the country. It’s an unusual route, certainly not available through Amtrak. The Fear Train is fueled by uncertainty, confusion, despair, doubt, and — yes — fear. 
 
But the Fear Train is slowing down.
 
I think it’s time to get off the Fear Train. It has a ways to go but we can help make it stop. There are some things you can do right now to help bring this train to a halt. It will take all of us. It will take a while. But when the Fear Train stops we can get off and say to ourselves: “This is the hardest and best thing I’ve done.”
  
How to Stop the Fear Train
 
Here are some actions each of us can take to stop this train:
 
Look Up. It sounds weird, doesn’t it? It simply means there is a lot of hunkering down and hand wringing going on right now, and that attitude can be self-fulfilling. If you believe it is raining, then it’s raining. So, start by looking up and assessing what is truly real and begin to plan how to move forward.

Get the Facts. There is a lot of noise out there.   As the economy continues to be sluggish the rhetoric from the wing nuts gets louder.  It gets harder to separate fact from fiction.   We can overcome fear, but only with a continuous stream of real data.  No hype. The truth.  A couple of websites worth bookmarking are http://www.politifact.com/ and www.snopes.com

Do Something. Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Don’t just complain, make calls. Write letters. Have a conversation. Be active. Be engaged.

Be Patient. Be Realistic. Be Calm. This will take time. Many people are still on the Fear Train. It will take one word at a time, one message at a time, many times, over time.

I am writing this the day before the  income tax filing deadline.  April 15th is a day we love when we get money back and hate when we have to pay.  The bigger issue is that this is a big part of paying for government services.   Before you start complaining about how lousy our government is and that it can’t manage its way out of a paper bag, know this:  It is about citizenship. 
Citizenship is not free and it’s not an entitlement.  It costs money and it requires participation to really work.  Too many of us stand on the sideline and either do nothing or complain… and still do nothing.  Complaining isn’t a solution.  Real citizenship demands more of us and right now we all need to be better citizens.  The problems are complex and the solutions are challenging. 
 
All of this may seem obvious. But the obvious is practical. Action defeats inaction. Knowledge defeats speculation. Information defeats doubt. Facts beat fear. Use facts to stop the Fear Train. Help yourself and others get off the Fear Train and get onto the business of living.
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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ann Marie on April 14, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Ah, yes…the Fear Train departs the station shortly before the Irrational Knee Jerk Reaction Express arrives.

    Reply

  2. You should read Wingnuts by John Avlon. All the knee jerking and crazy talk you can stand.

    Reply

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