you notice a politician, a preacher, the media, a salesperson, a celebrity, anyone in fact, start shouting about a crisis that requires immediate and drastic action do just three things.
Take a breath.
Then ask, who gets something out of this? If you do you’ll find that nine times out of ten the whole thing is manufactured and somebody is making money, gaining power and influence, or somehow getting a “taste” from your panic; if you let them.
Example. What happened in Florida with Trayvon Martin is a tragedy no matter how the situation pans out. Notice, though, that a whole industry has sprung up out of nowhere, or so it seems, to get TV time, influence, even to sell products all based on an emotional response to an investigation not yet completed. The dead young man has almost become an afterthought, a tool in a larger campaign for whatever the people agitating about this feel they need.
This kind of thing, sadly, happens all the time, across the political and social spectrum, and sometimes it seems the only way people try to get our attention these days. Just follow the money, follow the power, follow the flow chart to see who gets what out of the panic and you’ll gain wisdom. You’ll be able to separate truth from fiction, make solid decisions in the face of loose emotions, and know how to direct your energies towards good things.