Why aren’t ‘what if’ scenarios helpful?

Unless someone experiences something first hand they seem to remain unmoved even in the face of compelling evidence.

I can go back to the days of studying geography and learning that slash and burn will eventually lead to massive soil erosion and depletion of much needed minerals in the soil. Try explaining that to someone living on the hills and needing to plant food to feed their kids now. They certainly would not entertain something that would happen “down the road.”

Let’s take disaster preparedness. How many of us Trinbagonians seriously take on preparing for a disaster particularly when the forecasted hurricane never hits Trinidad or Tobago and we hear once again that phrase that my friend Franka Philip actually abhors “God must be a Trini!”

How about precautions for cancer – annual pap smears, prostate checks, mammograms in addition to annual general medical and dental exams? All those horrible pictures of people suffering – showing you things that can happen to you if you don’t take “in front” as we say here in Trinidad and Tobago – seem to fall on deaf ears. I’m not going to even venture into HIV and calls for safe sex!

Then there’s the scenario used when talking to folks about living their life’s dream or fulfilling their true purpose which goes something like “what would you do if you knew you could not fail?” I see people go completely numb with this question. It’s as if they can’t imagine beyond their present conditions.

Maybe this is where we should take simulations – beyond entertainment – and perhaps help people to experience ‘what if’ scenarios not just as an exercise in using ones imagination but including the entire body? Feeling stuff viscerally as if it were actually taking place.

If burying your head in the sand, is one of your favorite past times, at some point you’re going to have to come up for air, and you’ll see pretty much that things would have progressed without you.

In the case of disaster preparedness, we should ALWAYS be prepared simply because we may not get a ‘heads up.’

With regard to our own lives – don’t let circumstances decide for you. Don’t wait until you’re fired, bankrupt, terribly ill, or let any other wretched thing that you can think of, happen to you before you decide to do something.

Don’t join me in pondering whether ‘what if’ scenarios are helpful or not. If ‘what if’ imaginings doesn’t work for you – find something that does. Hitch your wagon to whatever that is and get out of any situation that may not be in your best interest or serving you TODAY!

‘What if’ graphic from http://www.itext-media.com
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