A fable for our time

Periodically, in the land of Milk and Honey a Giant walked across the nation spreading fear and consternation among the populace.

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Periodically, in the land of Milk and Honey a Giant walked across the nation spreading fear and consternation among the populace. The Giant was a crafty one; first he tested the water by making selective appearances to what he called “The Sky is Falling” crowd, many of whom were often discredited soothsayers, who had developed a following amongst more easily swayed sections of the populace.

If the seed from these random contacts took root then the Giant judged the time was ripe to stalk the entire country spreading negativity, which eventually took on a life of its own. And thanks to the advent of advanced communications in the land of Milk and Honey, the Giant’s thoughts became a self-sustaining cause for alarm.

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If he made the right call lights began to dim across the land and he could sit back and smile as his bad seed sprouted like Kudzu making his foray successful. Oh, every once in a while he had to stomp on a naysayer, but these he treated as mere fleas that had no impact on the mentality of a now shaken populace.

The sun stopped shining over the Land of Milk and Honey and negativism became the order of the day.

However, the Giant eventually grew tired of this game and, patting himself on the back for a mission accomplished, he turned his attention to other matters. As a result, some of the fleas gained strength and their numbers increased as questioning negatives gained advocates, and before long little rays of sunshine appeared and the environment brightened.

Older gurus, who had experienced the vagaries of the Giant, nodded and wisely said that although this attack by the Giant was a strong one, a return to brighter days was in the cards. After all they had seen this before.

And so it was that the end of “Troubles” became a major talking point and good news begat good news, and before long positive thoughts became the rule. The Giant being busy on other mischievous escapades, such as the situation on the Silk Trail, did not waste any of his time with older exercises.

But as the skies were beginning to brighten a new force appeared in the Land of Milk and Honey. It bore a strange resemblance to the Giant but on a smaller scale. And like the Giant this force called on the “Sky is Falling” crowd with the message that the recovery from the “Troubles” was going to be long and hard, longer in fact than ever before and harder, as the pestilence of unemployment was not going away anytime soon and the recovery process would remain painful.

So another cycle began, with the skies dimming again, just a little, and the naysayers began having a field day promulgating a continuation of “Troubles” in the country. The gurus and fleas had a harder time convincing the people that better times were coming because they too had never experienced a situation such as this, so they lacked credence with the people.

Funny thing though, the landscape did appear different, showing against reason a propensity for a return to normalcy. The gurus smiled because now they had a new benchmark to use the next time the Giant got restless again.

David A. Belforte
belforte@pennwell.com

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