Is This Just Another April Fools Joke?

I’m sick and tired of it all! I’ve had it and I’ll bet you have as well. I’m talking about picking up the newspaper or turning on the TV news stations and hearing the same thing over and over again … DOOMSDAY IS HERE!! Is this just another April Fools joke? Financial markets, housing, global economy, unemployment, redistributions, allocations, liberalism vs. conservatism, healthy vs. unhealthy, religions under fire, systemic breakdowns … all of these problems staring at us no matter where we turn. It truly is demoralizing and, for some of us, the negative stressors can cause literal physical symptoms leading to major diseases. And, I’m afraid that just diverting our attention by going to a movie, listening to music or attending a sporting event isn’t going to do the trick. These are all helpful outlets but short-lived in their intrinsic value. So what’s the answer?

I believe the answer lies in two concepts that govern our thought and emotional processes. The first concept is our value system and the second is our priorities. Let me take them one-by-one and then attempt to tie them together to form a “whole” that we might look to as a more “working sense” of relief from the pain and dangers of our present situation. First, what is a value system? A value system is tied into our belief system or our belief in what is good for us and others. Much of it has to do with how we were taught as youngsters and/or what we learned through experience as we moved into our adulthoods. An example might be the value we place on the security of money and the financial institutions that govern it.

Of course that is important but what if that belief … that value … exceeds doing what is good for our health or mentally well being? What if the downturn in our financial situation results in our “literally worrying ourselves sick”? And how about the value we place on marriage, family and friends? What if those values are superceded by our financial preoccupations and obsessive thinking processes leading to breakdowns in marriage, family and social relationship patterns that may become irreparable over a period of time (I believe that the divorce rate is somewhere in the 60% range now compared to my professional entrance into the field of marital therapy)? What if those same preoccupations that might lead to intense repressed anger begins to manifest itself in outbursts or, worse yet, violent behavioral patterns that cause injury to others in a physical or mental form of abuse? Although the posing of these questions may seem extreme, if you look closely at your newspapers and listen and watch more intently to your TV news stations they are not that far fetched. Are any of us immune to such circumstances? No, I don’t think so. The process that drives those patterns is a universal one that can affect anyone at any time … directly or indirectly … to one degree or another.

Now, let’s take a look at the second concept, priorities. Our priorities consist of the order we CHOOSE TO PLACE on our value systems and its components. I place emphasis on the word “choose” because although we may not be consciously aware that we are making a choice, in fact we are! It’s an unconscious choice much of which, again heralds back to our early training and life experiences. It is that lack of awareness that leads to many of the problems outlined in the previous paragraph. In other words, the more we can become aware of just what our priorities should be, the more we’ll be able to prevent our minds from wandering off into negative and self-destructive modes. Going into these modes is a natural process driven by the stress and fears that accompany these difficult times. However, a greater awareness would indeed become not only a preventive approach but one that would put us into a controlling position that will help us manage those negative urgings to obsess about doomsday.

I would highly recommend that all of us take the time to examine our value systems and priorities. Since they are ours, we can make changes in either or both of them to our advantage. Doing so, won’t change the situations in which we may find ourselves but such changes can help us to better manage those situations, accomplish “damage control” and put our lives and relationships into a more positive and workable order that will benefit us in the long run. The disruptions in our economy and other vital American systems will stabilize over time. The more looming question is how will we enter that period? Somehow, I’ve found that it works better when the cart follows the horse instead of the other way around. What do you think? Ultimately the choice is yours!


Both as a consultant and author, Charles Bonasera’s story-telling have motivated people to change patterns and resolve problems in their lives. All of his books contain valuable, practical lessons that people can easily apply to bettering and managing their lifestyles. He has also written a myriad of articles which can be found on his website at www.charlesmbonasera.com.

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