It was FDR that said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” While not specifically related to the topic of today’s post, it is a phrase that can be applied to anything in our lives that we fear. Fear is a creature that can take over our lives. The beast can even leave the room and yet the fear lives on.
Our fear can be given a life of its own by the diverse opinions of various “authorities.” Depending on how much authority we give those authorities, we can be further immobilized by our fear.
The media has this kind of power.
It is easy to mistakenly “believe” the media. Most of us would say that we don’t believe the media—-but the reality is, that most people will accept what the media tells them, as opposed to doing any research on their own. People will, on occasion, change their opinion when some new media source they trust more, contradicts their original opinion. Most of the time however, once people make up their mind—change becomes difficult.
Today the sources of information are so diverse that most people are overwhelmed by the possible choices of whom to trust. Preachers, gurus, newspapers, books, the Internet, television, and radio all stream possible answers to everything that is wrong with us and will be wrong with us.
I got to thinking of all of this as a result of the media jumping on Radon in Granite Counter-tops. This is very typical fodder for the media. The media knows that human beings are run by fear and sex. So if they can’t hook us with how sexy granite counter-tops are they will hook us with how the granite counter-tops are going to kill us. It is probably closer to the truth that granite counter-tops are more likely to be sexy than dangerous—-unless of course your “activities” result in your crashing to the floor.
I don’t pretend to be an expert on Radon but I am old enough to know that it isn’t usually a good idea to believe everything you hear—-no matter who is talking. There was a time when the “experts” promoted the idea that the Earth was flat—which still didn’t change the fact that the Earth closer to being round.
Some things are also just not possible to know. When that happens the key is to not latch onto what looks like a convenient answer, but to allow life to go on “without” answers—-so that there is a space for the answers to come into. Having to have a “reason” for everything is perhaps the most insidious fear of all. It creates hate groups and religions.
So for those of you that need some really good information about Radon—-information that won’t scare the pants off of you while you are fooling around on your cold granite counter-tops—-I hope you will take the time to check out these two articles that present a different view of “Radon” and “Radon Risk & Cancer” by Caoimhin P Connell.
Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector
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