People were in their pews talking at church when suddenly Satan appeared at the front of the church. Everyone started screaming and running for the front entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate.
Soon everyone had exited the church except for one elderly gentleman who sat calmly in his pew without moving, seeming oblivious to the fact that God’s ultimate enemy was in his presence.
So Satan walked up to the old man and said. “Don’t you know who I am?”
The man replied, “Yep, sure do.”
“Aren’t you afraid of me?” Satan asked.
“Nope.” said the man.
“Don’t you realize I can kill you with one single word?” asked Satan.
“Don’t doubt it for a minute,” returned the old man in an even tone.
“Did you know that I could cause you profound horrifying, AGONY for all eternity?” persisted Satan.
“Yep,” was the calm reply.
“And you’re still not afraid?” asked Satan.
“No, not in the least,” said the old man.
More than a little perturbed, Satan asked, “Well, why aren’t you afraid of me?”
The man calmly replied….. “Been married to your sister for 48 years!”
While we can all laugh at this particular story, the sad truth is that many people live life every day in constant fear. What are they afraid of? You name it, people fear it. The Book of Lists reports the Top Ten Human Fears are: #10- Dogs, #9- Loneliness, #8- Flying, #7- Death, #6-Sickness, #5- Deep water, #4- Financial problems, # 3- Insects, #2- Heights and #1 Speaking in front of people. As Jay Leno quipped, “I guess we’d rather be in the casket than delivering the eulogy.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.” I would agree with Emerson. Today fear has created a world full of spineless conformists that are afraid of their own shadow. We are in real need of people with faith and bravery, people that are creative original thinkers who aren’t afraid to be authentic and swim against the current, no matter what “society” says about it.
All that is great Heath, but what does this Hallmark card motivational rant have to do with Economic Development? Stick with me; times of big change are also times of big fears. Our county is creating a big change and people are no doubt going to be fearful and anxious. Even in the most positive change, there will be people against what is being done. People are comforted with the known (even if it is negative) and threatened by the unknown (as they do not know what it will look like).
As we continue to build our economy in 2014 big change is eminent and we will find ourselves in the middle of many fearful people. We need to be respectful of their fears and steadfast in our resolve to move forward. Tama County cannot let fear choose our destiny.