I used to read the newspapers every day, I would even look forward to switching on News at Ten at the end of the evening but not anymore. I am sick to the top teeth with all of the negative news that seems to dominate the media these days.
I know why the press do this because we all know that bad news sells but I just wonder what affect this constant bombardment of negativity has on society. I am a firm believer in the concept of ‘self fulfilling prophecy’ and if there is any truth to this piece of age old wisdom then we are simply making things a whole lot worse for ourselves. The following story explains very well my point:
“There was a man who lived on the side of the road. And he sold hot dogs. He was hard of hearing so he had no radio. He had trouble with his eyes so he read no newspapers nor did he watch the television. But he sold good hot dogs.
He put signs on the highway saying how good they were. He stood on the side of the road and cried out, “Want to buy a great hot dog mister?” And many people bought his hot dogs. He increased his meat and bun orders ten fold in order to keep up with the trade. He bought a bigger stove in order to cook the increasing number of hot dogs he was selling. Trade was good, very good indeed. So good in fact he got his son to help him each evening after he returned home from college. But then something happened.
His son said, “Father, haven’t you been reading the newspapers? The country is heading for a deep recession. In fact, the whole world is experiencing a financial meltdown of unprecedented proportions. Everything is going to pot!”
Thereupon the Father thought, ‘Well, my sons been to college and is very well educated. He reads the FT, listens to Robert Peston on the radio and he watches News at Ten on the TV every single night so he must know what he is talking about.’
So the Father cut down on his meat and bun orders just in case. He also started to open later and close earlier because if there were to be less customers, there would be no need to work such long hours. He took down his advertising signs and no longer stood by the side of the highway selling his Hot Dogs.
And his hot dog sales began to fall immediately. “You’re right my boy, the Father said to his son. We certainly are experiencing a difficult time, I’m so pleased that I listened to you!”
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