September 12, 2011 – Looking at any newspaper headline, or listening to any news station, in the northeastern United States over the last month and you will have seen sensationalist newscasting/journalism at its finest. Disasters, real and anticipated, from earthquakes, hurricanes, tropical storms, thunderstorms, cresting rivers and flooding, overwhelmed our senses as we listened to the news and stayed glued to the reporting media hoping for the latest update. How much frantic worrying among the population did the reports generate? How much of it was warranted?
To be sure, extreme weather conditions are causes for concern, not only for any disaster which might ensue, but also to prepare for the situation so as to minimize any potential damage. But how much energy ought to be directed towards anticipating such concerns?
Not surprisingly, as in all areas of life, keeping a healthy balance is the answer.
How does this apply to our lives? Think about how often you’ve witnessed a colleague, a partner, a child, sensationalize an issue to the point of stressing out over it. What were your thoughts as you witnessed the overly dramatic (in your opinion) reaction? How effective would you be while mediating your dispute if you engaged in such sensationalism?
Recall your own reactions to a child’s making what you consider a harmful decision. Was the harm real or was it an over-reaction? Imagine your child deciding to postpone college yet again. Is such a decision truly harmful to your child’s future, or is your child simply following his own path and timeline? Or imagine an overly concerned reaction to a pet’s limping due to a swollen paw. Might the injury have been caused by the pet being clipped by a car? Perhaps it’s merely an abscess, easily treatable with antibiotics.
Consider how the above over-reactions result in intense drama which then causes undue stress and tension for you and for those in your life. How helpful, in resolving the issue at hand or in building and maintaining healthy relationships, is this stress and tension over what might be?
Remember: Concern over potentialities is natural and in order only insofar as the concern leads us to take precautions to avoid catastrophe and to plan for success. Sensationalism is a proven method to sell newspapers; but not as a method to live your life.
Consider the Possibilities.
Adam J. Krim www.driveconsulting.net