How do you react when a crisis erupts over Ebola or a terror attack?
[Darris McNeely] "Terror magnifier". I ran into this phrase in reading a news report – an analysis of a lot of the terror events that are part of our life, unfortunately, in our world today. "Terror magnifier". What magnifies a terrorist attack, or a situation that frightens all of us? Too often, our headlines will bring up events and situations – just a few weeks ago, there was a shooting in Ottawa, at the Canadian war memorial, and the gunman shot a soldier at the memorial, ran into the parliament building, and immediately there were all kinds of reports that there were several gunmen, and many more people killed than actually took place, and it increased the fear that was beginning to spread through the Canadian capital.
And then there's the Ebola scare that we've just gone through, in the United States at least, and it's still going on in parts of Africa. But because of the 24-hour cable news cycle that we have, and the social media – two factors of news reporting and the spreading of information – when something happens that is a terrorist attack or a very difficult situation like the Ebola crisis that we have had, fear begins to multiply as information gets out, and a lot of that being misinformation. And the result is terror is magnified.
So it's a part of our world today. It's a part of our life. It's interesting, and we all need to be aware of it and we also need to know how to manage it, because we watch our news, we are afraid of things that could happen, and if we're not careful, we can get carried away. Remember a number of years ago, the Y2K phenomenon, and people thinking that at the turn of the millennium that everything was going to be just upset because of the clocks and the computers and disruption of culture and society? People stocked up on food and made extreme decisions that they had to live with afterwards because nothing happened. The hype didn't materialize. Life went on.
Well, there are real terrorist attacks, there are real moments of crisis. We need to be concerned, we need to take appropriate measures if we are involved in any part of anything like that. But avoid irrational fear and keep a correct mindset. We've all seen the posters these days to "keep calm and carry on". But there's a big lesson there. Be calm. React rationally. Think things through and don't get caught up in the hysteria and in the inappropriate fear that can be fanned into a big flame because of, again, social media or cable news networks and reports that come out like that, when problems do happen. Be calm, take appropriate action, and don't fear. Don't take irrational fear.
There's a statement about God's Spirit and the way God wants His children to act in 2 Timothy chapter 1 – it talks about God's Spirit being a spirit of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). And that's critically important to be able to live a balanced life that is not driven by fear, or in a very difficult situation, is not magnified because of misinformation.
That's BT Daily. Join us next time.