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February 23, 2009

On the Other Hand

I know we're in a recession.  I know it's really bad.  I know a lot of people have lost their jobs, or their homes, or both.

At the same time, I truly believe the constant barrage of fear-mongering publicity about these facts is at least part of the problem.  I spoke to someone yesterday whose business seems to be doing fine - about the same as last year, so far...and she doesn't quite trust it.  She's wondering if she should cut back her staff, just in case.  Because - you know - isn't everyone headed for trouble?

This reaction, and all that it implies, worries me more than do the actual facts.  So, in the name of objectivity, let's turn the statistics around: 
    -    7.6% unemployment means there's 92.4% employment.
    -    1.84% foreclosure filings means 98.16% of homes are not foreclosed.

I'm reminded daily that the only thing to fear is fear itself.  Not that we shouldn't be mindful, and careful, and attentive.  But fear...fear doesn't help at all.

How can we each keep this in perspective?

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Comments

I don't have an answer, but I feel the same about nightly news. In the large city close to where I live, at least, the news is often about who got shot or robbed today. They never say that nearly nine million people went about their daily lives with no horrific incident, so we all get this skewed perspective about things, and fear builds. Maybe just pointing it out as you have done is part of the solution.

Jo Ellen,

I think you're right. And I'm trying to do that pretty consistently: most days I find away to work into the conversation a story about someone or some organization who's doing well (or at least OK).

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