People "Don't Do Vaccines"
A common fear is of the unknown or a threat. Imagine you approach a dark tunnel. Is it intimidating to look at the pitch black and not know what is there? Where does it lead? Where is the end? Anything could be there. That unknown factor impacts the situations and decisions people make on a regular basis.
I was reading this article from The New York Times. Danielle, an M.D., shared her story about a new patient who came in for a check up and does not like to have vaccinations. In a compelling argument, she tried her hardest to understand his fear and meet his need by convincing him of the safety of a common flu shot and its impact on not only his life, but on the lives of others around him.
Guess what? The fear of the unknown prevented him from changing his perception of vaccines. Danielle intuitively understood an important factor of why she would not be able to sell this client on why a flu shot would help him. She said,
"I realized that I was never going to get at the heart of the issue because these fears weren’t so much about facts as they were about emotions. The fears themselves are contagious, and have their own emotional epidemiology."Fear prevented Danielle and her client from reaching a level of understanding, and ultimately, they went their separate ways without coming to a consensus.
People "Don't Do GMOs"
When I think about fears that obscure facts from fictitious feelings, I think about genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Similarly to a flu shot, people may have a perceived idea of what GMOs are and why they may or may not be OK to eat or use in society. It is a fear of the unknown. Sure, everyone is welcome to his or her own opinion. That is not the problem. I become frustrated and sometimes fiery when fear overpowers human intelligence. It is important to research, talk with experts and understand the history, process and present-day situations of our food system. You may not agree with how food is grown, how science has come into play to improve it, and why people like myself believe and support it. That is OK.
But unless you know the background and holistic view of its role in today's society, I challenge you to not let the evil emotion of fear overcome your senses. I challenge you to do the following:
Do your homework.
Be an educated citizen.
Support technological advancements that are saving lives, feeding people and restoring our environment.
Are you ready to stop letting your fears rule your life? I am.
To share my vulnerability, here are my top three fears in life.
- Becoming a failure and not contributing to societal advancement.
- Experiencing severe disease, cancer or health complication with a loved one and not being able to help him or her overcome it.
- Never finding my calling in life.
Even though not all fears are within our control, we can control how we understand and react to situations and life experiences. Don't let it remain unknown. Discover something today that you did not know. Who knows, you might be swayed another way and not just walk away.