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Blissfully Ignorant

Last night I heard a news story of a schoolteacher mom who put her 13-year-old son in the trunk of her car because she suspected he had Covid and did not want to expose herself to it. She drove to the test site where she popped the trunk so he could receive a test. I heard another heart wrenching story of a mother holding down her screaming five-year-old so he could receive the Covid shot. While traveling on an airplane during the holidays I heard the stewardess say a customer had been kicked off another plane for refusing to wear a mask and she was upset he was now on her plane. The latest news is legislators in Washington state are passing laws to force non-compliant people into "internment camps" where the government will determine what to do with you. People are losing their jobs, their homes, destroying their relationships, and committing suicide, while those spinning the fear are getting very, very, very rich.

When I drove across America during the summer of 2020, I was amazed at the calm I felt once I got past the boarders of New Mexico. When I would stop for food or gas, I was welcomed by smiling faces from all races. Gentlemen would tip their hats and open the door for me, and ladies would say, "Good morning." The clerks behind the counter would say, "Thank you darlin'" and I bathed in the gentle wonder of it all. I slept more peaceful than I had in a year and the anxiety and fear that preceded the trip melted away. All seemed right in the world again and I was happy and I felt safe. Ten days later when I made the return trip home, as I crossed into New Mexico I saw huge neon road signs notifying drivers that, "Masks are mandatory in the state of N.M." When I stopped for gas and food, I was met by people who were angry, spoke curt to me, and they threw my bag of food across the counter at me. At one place I was yelled at because I had forgotten my mask in the car. Needless to say, my anxiety returned, I found myself getting angry, and to avoid further attacks I didn't eat until I reached my home in California. The contrast made me immediately want to drive back to where I felt safe again.

Recently I heard someone use a term I was unfamiliar with: FOMO, the Fear Of Losing Out. When I asked what it meant, she laughed at my ignorance saying it's a term commonly used in social media. She further explained that she has felt sad when she sees other people who are "friends" enjoying time together and she was not invited. At first, I was taken back at the idea that I was not current with the lingo on social media, but then after considering her statement, I broke down the definition of FOMO and realized the first word is FEAR. After the past 2 1/2 years of non-stop fearmongering, fear is the last thing I want to be focusing on. If the "losing out" part creates envy, anxiety, and depression, I'm glad I'm living blissfully ignorant.

If you want to feel safe again and contrast what you are feeling today, take a drive through the heartland of America. You may experience feelings you've not felt in a very long time. You may gain clarity about the lies you are consumed with on social media and the news. You may realize not everyone is living in fear, and that you have more power over your life than you are told you do. Stop the spinning in your head and stand still for a minute. Turn off the chatter around you. Stop seeking commonality with others and stand alone for one moment. Listen to the quiet, feel the peace, and embrace the truth. You'll may find Chicken Little was wrong, the sky is not falling.



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