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Fear or No Fear?
By:Pam Sekula

It is your choice, is it not? The choice you have made after a process of consideration and thought-full deliberation. A choice that is correct and fitting for who you are, what you know, and what you believe in. Isn't that your process? Is it fear, or no fear?

Today fear is color-coded for us. In the morning over coffee, we listen to radio or watch television to have a higher authority determine our response to the day ahead. It appears that we have relinquished our innate common sense to an order whose main objective is to divide and conquer us with fear.

We, who have lived for millennia on this earth, are even afraid of the weather. We treat it as though it is our enemy, when it actuality is a natural and integral part of our planet.

It took my father, a dairy farmer, about one minute to check the sky and wind direction. He would say things like, "Red sky at night, sailor's delight!" He planted by moon phases. He did just fine for over 50 years using that plan. He usually stopped long enough to listen to or watch the weatherman, Bob Mills, out of Rochester, NY. Every night Bob gave us the "inside on the outside" which meant something would be in the air the next day. In winter, there was no fear of snow. We prayed for snow days. Snow in winter is a given where we live, not an "event."

A college degreed meteorologist on every station in country, probably the world, now analyzes weather! It has its own channel and is reporting 24/7! With the miracle technology of triple Doppler radar, every snowflake, gust of wind or white cap on Lake Ontario is an EVENT. No longer do we hear, "It's snowing outside, and it sure is cold." It is, "We are experiencing a snow event. People are dying right outside our building from hypothermia and frostbite. Do not let it happen to you or your loved ones. Let's go to Johns Hopkins and watch a foot removal right now." Excuse me, is it odd in February, in Buffalo, NY to be having cold weather and snow? Is it a surprise that Minnesota is freezing? It is not an event. It is business as usual.

We know days in advance that something frightening this way comes. Panels of experts discuss how horrible it will be, terrible it could be, and downright paralyzing it might be. Does it occur to you that those folks always look disappointed when a hurricane peters out or misses a designated hit?

There is no denying that we must be prepared for severe weather, but don't we know that? It is necessary to know the evacuation route out of town; have food and water put aside, batten down the hatches and bring in the animals. Don't we know that? The problem is that each and every natural fact of nature is not an anxiety-provoking NEWS event, nor should it be.

Are we so ready to blame someone else for our own ignorance and lack of common sense that the weather guy or gal has to tell us to bundle up and drive with care?

So, what's your choice? "Red sky at morning, sailors take warning?" Fear or no fear?

Pam Sekula

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