I’m the sort of person who likes to be prepared. It’s second nature for me to plan ahead and try to consider every possible outcome of almost every situation, especially the negative ones. I buy travel insurance for our big trips, have an emergency kit both in my house and in the trunk of my car, keep a stash of any medications I may need in my purse, etc. I always have a “plan B” in mind when I’m making any kind of decision, no matter how big or small, because I’m well aware that things might not work out as I had hoped.
So I really don’t need anyone or anything constantly warning me of possible danger, or pointing out all the things that should be causing me worry and angst. Believe me, I’ve got that covered. Which is why I get so annoyed with all the warnings and alerts that I’m bombarded with every day of my life.
The news media is bad enough, with it’s constant stream of negativity and dire warnings about, well….everything. Yes, we are facing some very serious issues in our country and in the world, but I don’t think that daily newscasts with the essential message of “be afraid, be very afraid!” are going to help us solve them. Nor do I appreciate it when my cell phones sends me emergency news alerts about things that are definitely not emergencies. If my phone is going to interrupt my day with an alert, it had better be about something serious, like an approaching tornado or an invasion of Martians.
But the worst offender is my car. It has several built-in warning systems which I’m sure were intended for safety, and that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, I’ve come to believe that my car was programed by someone who’s rather paranoid, because it warns me about everything, all the time. If I pull into the garage and get within two feet of the trash cans, my car not only beeps at me, but warning lights flash and sometimes it even hits the automatic brakes. Yes, getting within two feet of another car on the highway would be a problem. But I’m parking my car. In my garage. And it’s not a huge garage, so I have to get “dangerously” close to the trash cans to do so.
Last week my car got really upset because I had parked in the street, and someone else pulled up behind me a bit closer than my car deemed appropriate. They had actually left plenty of room for me to pull away from the curb, but the minute I started my car, it flashed and beeped and generally had a panic attack as I manuvered out of the spot. I swear, if my car was a person, it would say nothing but “Danger! Watch out! Oh my gosh, oh my gosh…OH MY GOSH!!!!”
As I said, I don’t need this in my life. I’m well aware of the dangers that surround me, and I take them seriously. If I’m going to be bombarded with unsolicited messages, I’d much rather hear something encouraging, such as, “You can do it!” Building confidence is almost always more effective than instilling fear, even when facing the big problems, in my opinion. Now all I have to do is figure out a way to get others, especially my car, on board with that….