The sky is falling…or is it?
When scary change is proposed to my otherwise blissful existence, I could do what my cat does. At our house, whenever we move the furniture around, the cat finds a highly visible place on the rug and throws up.
But then a funny thing happens, at least with the cat. He doesn’t throw up any more. One moment the sky is falling, and the next…not so much.
I will be the first to admit that at times I’ve predicted that some idea or proposal would mean the end of civilization as we know it, only to find out that things didn’t turn out so badly. For example, I wasn’t too keen on the installation of the unfortunately nicknamed “suicide” lanes on Highway 12 through parts of Kenwood, but the destruction derby I foresaw has never materialized. Maybe I was…well…incorrect.
Remember the debate about the installation of a traffic signal in Kenwood, at the intersection of Highway 12 and Warm Springs Road? Some were convinced that it meant the paving over of Kenwood had begun, that cars would be stacked up along Warm Springs Road to kingdom come, that Los Guilicos would become a traffic jam since everyone would use that avenue to get to the signal, etc.
Hmm. Correct me if I’m wrong, but do people even think twice anymore about the signal? Maybe it’s not perfect, but I know it helps my blood pressure when getting onto the highway, and the parents of new teen drivers see it as a huge blessing.
Putting forth worst-case scenarios is often used as a political or negotiating strategy, a tactic used to scare people. One only has to look at recent debates over sequestration or the fiscal cliff or gun control (please, no letters).
Now, that’s not to say there aren’t some really bad ideas out there that should be nipped in the bud, squashed like a bug and deserving of a lengthy eye roll.
But, as in family affairs, sometimes picking your battles will get you better outcomes, and maybe things won’t be as bad as you feared. So when your child comes to you and says he wants to: join the Foreign Legion, get a neck tattoo, become a Scientologist, attend clown school, etc., politely excuse yourself, throw up on the rug, and sit back down.