Saturday, March 28, 2020

The Smell Test

If you’re unsure about a carton of milk that’s been in the fridge for longer than you can remember, you don’t take a swig to see whether it’s still good or not; you give it the smell test. One sniff will tell you whether or not it’s still comestible, or if you should throw it out.

Most of us are so used to doing this when it comes to certain things, that we’ve even coined the term passing the smell test. If it doesn’t pass the smell test, then there’s no point in further analysis, is there? If the milk is bad, it’s bad, and no amount of discussion regarding how the milk turned or when exactly it might have turned is pointless.

For the most part, life comes at us, and we must take it as it comes. Rarely is anything ideal, rarely is anything precisely the way we would have wanted, and there’s also something we would have liked to change even if it’s a small thing in the grand scheme of things.

During this pandemic, we’ve seen the best of humanity and the worst of humanity. We’ve seen young people volunteering to buy groceries for their aged neighbors, individuals offering rolls of toilet tissue to those without in their community. We’ve also seen people coughing on produce, spitting in people’s faces, and leveraging panic to make a couple quick billion dollars.

With the small exception of genuinely scared individuals, most of the panic being fanned and fomented doesn’t pass the smell test. Less than a week ago, a well-known hedge fund manager got on television, and with the grim visage of a man who’d just seen his own death, declared that this country was done. Put a fork in it; it’s finished. We are doomed, it’s over, the fat lady done sung her song, and all the mourners have gone home.

He was so credible in his passionate declaration of the time of death that the markets took a nosedive. As everyone was panic selling, he was buying at such a deep discount, that by the time the dust settled, he walked away with two billion dollars, making a 10,000% return. Yes, you read that right, no I didn’t throw an extra zero in there just for giggles.

It’s like these blowhards who keep saying we’ll need a snorkel to see the top floor of the Empire State Building any day now, still snatching up real estate on both coasts at every turn. If they really believed the load of cow pies they were selling, then Nebraska would be the priciest real estate in the country.

If someone’s actions are in diametrical opposition to the words coming out of their mouth, you’ve been had.

There have always been unscrupulous people, and the most unscrupulous know that the easiest thing to exploit in another human being is their fear. If you can make someone afraid, truly afraid, for their life, or their family’s life, then offer them a means of alleviating that fear, they’ll hand you all their cash for a bottle of dirty bathwater, and thank you profusely for being so magnanimous.

If you are afraid, they will find a way to leverage your fear! Knowing this, the fastest way to defang these vampires of human misery is to not be afraid. Do not fear what can kill the body; I read that somewhere, and someone really important said it. Excellent, timely, poignant council worth heeding. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.  

1 comment:

john said...
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