It’s Scary Out There

 In Author

It’s been a scary few months. We’ve seen massive hurricanes and earthquakes in Texas, Florida, the Caribbean, and Mexico, destructive wildfires in California, and a horrific shooting in Las Vegas. We’re surrounded by social, economic, and political upheaval. And those are just the examples I can come up with off the top of my head. Lately, I’ve developed the habit of taking a deep breath before checking the morning news, bracing myself for the disaster du jour.

After all the fires, floods, tempests, and earthquakes recently, I can’t help but wonder if famine and pestilence will be next. A trip to the Encarta online dictionary reminded me that pestilence is “an epidemic of a highly contagious or infectious disease.” Why am I convinced it’s coming? And why do I encounter so many others who feel the same way? Does everyone really believe we’re living in the worst of times?

Last November—thirteen months ago—I wrote a blog post entitled, “Lessons to be Learned from Chicken Little.” My premise was not to panic, despite the headlines. Since then, the chaos has escalated. Although I still believe panicking is a bad idea, it’s easy to see why the majority of people are discouraged, disgusted, or just plain angry. So what can we do about it?

We can’t solve all the world’s problems, but one thing we can do is brighten our own corner of the world. We can try to lighten others burdens instead of adding to them. Experience demonstrates that serving others lifts the giver and the receiver. We can stop focusing on the negative and look for the positive. Another thing we can do is be present and live in the moment. If we are constantly striving to move forward with our goals and be grateful for the blessings in our lives, the bad things lose much of their power.

At Halloween, millions will put on costumes and put aside all the rotten stuff happening in the world. I’ve always liked this holiday because I enjoy dressing up and masquerading as someone else. Plus, it’s low-pressure and obligation-free—no one will get upset if we don’t spend the day with them. Here’s hoping that witches, vampires, and werewolves are the scariest thing out there

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