Coping with weather and boys who cry “wolf”

When we were young, we became familiar with the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”  It is one of Aesop’s Fables and is numbered 210 on the Perry Index for those who care about these things. The moral of the story, and Aesop’s Fables always had a moral, was that “a liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth.”

We now live in a world of instant communication. Our media, given the nature of 24/7 news, craves content. Content attracts viewers and eyeballs mean advertising. Nothing’s better for bringing eyeballs to broadcast news than weather, especially big weather events.

When there is a whiff of a major weather event, the media machine winds itself up and begins beating their drums. Often, drum beats awaken the fear-fogger and between the two, a state of unease, agitation, and even something akin to hysteria is generated.

If the information is correct and the anticipated event happens, people that are proactive make preparations, take the necessary precautions, and all is well. Unfortunately, too often it seems, the weather event is often more hype than dangerous event and over time, some people begin to tire of getting hyped up only to be let down. This might cause some people to become less vigilant and unable to decipher what’s real and what’s merely hype.

This time, the anticipation was warranted. Many of us are still in the midst of a major weather maker, a good, old-fashioned nor’easter. To our south, the storm has passed by and municipalities like Boston, Worcester, and Providence are beginning to dig out from snowfall totals approaching and in some cases, exceeding, two feet.

Lessons learned:

  • Preparation is important
  • Heed warnings, but don’t get caught up in the histrionics of fear-fogging
  • Weather events will continue to be a fact of life and given some of our recent storms, a more frequent fact of life
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Life goes on, just like it always has

I had some fun out and about in the storm, yesterday. I met some interesting people, like the family from Minnesota that stopped for coffee at the Cook’s Corner Starbucks, in Brunswick.

Family from Minnesota visiting Maine during the Blizzard of 2013.

Family from Minnesota visiting Maine during the Blizzard of 2013.

I learned a bit more about video and how to shoot and edit, which will be valuable for me moving forward. I’ve posted my very amateurish first attempt at film-making.

Some songs hearken back to previous blizzards, like the one in 1977.

In a few hours, Mary and I will begin the process of digging out that countless others throughout New England have already begun, or will be sharing along with us.

I’m pretty confident that by the end of the day, the sun will be shining and many amateur photographers will be sharing some beautiful shots of nature’s beauty, post-blizzard.

Snowpocalypse 2013 from The JBE on Vimeo.

2 thoughts on “Coping with weather and boys who cry “wolf”

  1. My learnings from this latest “fear-fogger” event:

    1. I can think for myself about the weather,
    2. Shoveling is great exercise if I remember WWHD (What Would Herman Do) and do a little bit every hour or so, and
    3. It’s great to have a reason to slow down once in a while.

    I am enjoying being snowbound today!

    Thanks for sharing your learnings!

    • Learning to think for ourselves on all manner of subjects is important. I am thinking of it in terms of being a contrarian, ala Gene Logsdon.

      Shoveling is terrific exercise if one is in shape. I am in shape, and I’m going to pace myself, remembering WWHD (especially after seeing him in action, yesterday).

      It is good to slow down and sometimes nature makes us do that.

      The timing of this storm was great on multiple fronts and probably for many people.

      Enjoy your day, JAB!

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