I Fear Their Fears

“I have accepted fear as part of life – specifically the fear of change…the pounding in the heart….”

― Erica Jong

There have been a few times where the choice of changing something, or staying as is, in my life has been influenced by fear – some things I was afraid to not leave as they were; others, afraid what they might be if I altered course. I think this is true for most of us, to some degree – most of us face the fear of change with some degree of pounding in our heart.

I look at the daily newspaper much the same way, wondering what new catastrophe has happened overnight. My head says, “Why bother?”, yet reading it is my first order of business every morning. And always my fears are justified, tragedies world-wide abound. But much to my delight, once in a while the news is good. I really smile to read that the doom-and-gloom, politically generated fear-based socio-economic predictions of just a few years ago have not come true:

Our economy has added jobs for 72 months straight and unemployment is down to pre-recession levels and the economy is growing. Most people are satisfied with their job and wages are rising (albeit slower in some areas than others). The Index of Consumer Satisfaction shows the satisfaction gap between the the upper and lower thirds in income is the lowest since before Ronald Reagan took office. And no massive recession (like the last one just passed) is looming in the forseeable future.

So what’s all that got to do with fear of change?

Our social, economic and governmental policies currently in place seem to be working, by most indicators things are progressing in the right direction, and by and large we’re better off than the nay-sayers of eight years ago predicted.

Are the policies perfect? No, they could be improved, made better, expanded.

But what might happen if they get undone and the social, political, and economic policies (that gave us the Great Recession, discrimination, lost freedoms) return as a result of the upcoming elections?

Will the voters believe the politically-generated diatribes from one party that play with peoples’ fears convince them to vote to change what is working so well?

That’s one change I fear, one I’d find hard to accept.

– Bill


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