Denial Is More Than a River
The Human Experience
This morning as I listen to the White-House update on monkey pox, I’m fully aware that denialism is strong in the human brain. We can’t take the truth. Now more than ever, many humans throughout the modern world have resorted to denialism as a survival technique.
Americans are no exception
In fact, many Americans are likely to ignore, even ridicule, the multiple experts on today’s panel. We live in THE day and age of communication and information, yet there’s a huge number of people who resent, even fear information.
The number of laughing emojis still startle me.
Why on earth do humans prefer NOT to know? Do they honestly think that if they don’t know that it alters the truth?
Here’s the deal …
We’re angry that life as we knew it has slipped through our fingers.
It was unappreciated at the time, but as they say, sometimes it takes losing something or someone before we fully grasp what we had in the first place.
The landscape has changed whether we like it not.
Between the frequency of climate disasters and the rise of pandemics, we find ourselves once again facing death daily. The dire consequences of falling behind the times is becoming more obvious.
Are we losing our edge?
Our antibiotics are no longer as effective. We’ve been challenged by new viruses. Our mobile world has made the carrying of disease to far corners of the earth easier. The frequency of climate disasters is expensive, putting a drain on our economy. Our natural resources are plainly limited. We’re nervous and edgy.
All the above and more are producing a collective response to massive amounts of potential threats. We have a nagging fear that we’ll not be able to manage effective responses.
Whether it’s fighting fires, saving lives from massive floods, or combatting a quickly spreading new variant, we are confronted daily with our limitations.
Contrary to popular opinion, we aren’t gods after all. We’re mere mortals. We want desperately to believe that what our ancestors endured for centuries, early death, is no longer the norm. Things were improving dramatically in the modern world. We had started to take our advancements in technology and medicine for granted.
So much so that people who had far less than their ancestors to complain about no longer even remembered what their ancestors endured.
We are spoiled and childishly optimistic about our futures. Many believe that we can WILL into existence the life we want for ourselves. Positive thinking became our new religion and the act of self-congratulating a daily ritual.
We honestly believe that we deserve to be happy and that we can make it so by focusing entirely on what we want.
The rug was pulled from under our feet.
First came shock, then fear, then anger, then denial. Big strong men were the most ruthless with their harsh criticisms. They boldly refused a mask, and expressed disdain, even ridiculed any facts staring them in the face. They masqueraded as angry, confident unbelievers. Deep down, however, we sensed their fear and resentment.
They are one step away from becoming their ancestors.
Gone are the pretenses. They’ve always been cavemen with cell phones, emotionally and intellectually unequipped to solve problems without violence.
Collective resentment has been the most telling emotional response.
Everything that we’d been told we deserved, a long life full of material wealth and over indulgence, is suddenly under threat. Change is forced upon us. FORCED! We’ve had no say in the matter. Mother Nature is relentless.
Just like our ancestors, we are at the mercy of her powerful forces.
Suddenly, we were reduced to the tiny speck in the universe that we are and always have been. That realization creates very uncomfortable feelings. This can’t be true. This isn’t true. We’re being lied to and that’s that. None of this is happening. Climate change is a hoax. Monkey pox is a conspiracy. It’s all orchestrated. Mass shootings are staged. People aren’t dying from a pandemic. THEY want to control us.
We deserve to be happy.
We refuse to take this seriously. We’re not going to take it anymore. We’ll use our laughing emojis to strike back. We’ll rebel and not wear a mask. We’ll send our kids to school and go on vacation and waste money and drink and do drugs and insist on having it ALL.
Yep I can only imagine what’s happening across the world as today’s monkey pox information is being reported. Oh, well.
I sigh and turn off the news. I have things to do today.
Teresa is a retired educator, author , world traveler, and professional myth buster. You can find her books on Amazon.