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The sky isn't falling

By Dian Vujovich

Given the market, job situation and economic environment I’m often asked how I think President Obama is doing at his job. Each time I’ve answered that question with this question: “Do you think John McCain and Sarah Palin would be doing a better job? ”
Invariably that stops people short and everyone, thus far, has answered, “No.”

As I’ve written before, we are in unusually challenging economic times. Times that have negatively altered the lives of millions of individuals. Times that have thwarted dreams, bank accounts and retirement plans. Times that have more people thinking negatively rather than positively. And times that have left people feeling scared and threatened.

We’re an unusual lot, we human beings. To understand our behavior when the chips are down we don’t have to go much further than to re-read the childhood fable of “Chicken Little”. While there are a number of versions, the one most of us are familiar with revolves about how an acorn fell on Chicken Little’s head and, as a result, made her believe that the sky was falling. So scared this chicken was that she decided to run to tell the King what was happening.

Along her journey she runs into Henny Penny and tells Henny that the sky is falling, Henny asks why and CL says it’s because she saw it with her own eyes, heard it with her ears and felt it on her head. So Henny believes her, joins her and along their journey to the King, they gather a crowd of followers that includes Ducky Lucky, Goosey Loosey, and Turkey Lurkey. Then, a fox comes along.

In one American version, Chicken Little and her pals never make it to the King because the fox knows that the sky isn’t falling. So, he redirects them to his den and none are ever seen from again.

Moral of that story from my point of view: Smart bad guys can easily take advantage of fearful and scared people.

But there’s another version with a moral I’ve found perhaps even more applicable and appropriate in these times. It’s a Buddhist fable about a piece of fruit that falls on a hare’s head, the hare then believes that the earth is coming to an end and, as a result, starts a stampede among all other animals.

Luckily, a lion comes to the rescue, investigates the entire situation and calms them all down.

That fable teaches the importance of investigation and deductive reasoning.

Put that lesson into practice today and I’ll bet you’ll find that the sky isn’t falling.

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