Monday, March 16, 2020

Let's Keep Speculation, Conjecture, and Future Tripping to a Minimum

I remember the moment as if it happened yesterday. It was September 12, 2001. I was glued to my television set and the Internet. I craved any piece of news related to the calamity that had just taken place. I watched, listened, and read with rapt attention, devouring every morsel with alacrity. 

Not surprisingly, my anxiety increased. It peaked when I viewed the following item on CNN's news ticker: "Experts predict that the chances of another terrorist attack on the US are 100%." 

I panicked. I awakened my wife from a deep sleep. He looked at me, perplexed, told me not to worry about it, and went back to sleep. 

That second terrorist attack didn't happen. Nor did countless other developments that pundits had discussed, often in painstaking detail. 

The fact is that much of what so-called "experts" speculated about didn't happen. Everyone's educated guesses, conjectures, and pontification didn't amount to much. The fact is that no one can predict the future, no matter how much education, training, and/or wisdom they have. Sure, I understand that people attempt to deal with their anxieties by engaging in such chatter. But, if my experience is at all generalizable, it only makes things worse. So why bother? 

So I'll pass on the banter about the coronavirus. I'll say no to panic-induced water cooler and social media conversation. It doesn't do me any good. I'll do my very best to live in the moment, and focus on what I actually can control (a whole lot) and what I need to do (a whole lot). When relevant details come down the pike, I'll be there, ready to receive them. But I'm keeping speculation, conjecture, and future tripping to a minimum.

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