Today marks the Ides of March – so, beware. How fitting this is. You might recall in the play Julius Caesar, a soothsayer warned of impending doom and gloom. Okay, I’ll admit. Caesar got stabbed roughly 23 times, so in that instance, pushing the panic button was appropriate. However, given our current health crisis, I offer a different warning.
I was scheduled to present in Ohio tomorrow, but as you might guess, the trip was cancelled. Accordingly, I’m responding with due diligence. One definition of due diligence is the care that a reasonable person exercises to avoid harm to others. So, I routinely wash my hands, take more care with hygiene, and to the extent possible, self-quarantine since I’ve been out of the state in the past two weeks.
What don’t I do? React. React by tuning in to continuous news feeds, viewing and participating in ongoing discussions, texts and Facebook posts, and hoarding hand sanitizer and toilet paper. I would go on, but it exhausts me to do so.
My warning is not about the ides of March. It is about the danger of obsession. Obviously, we need to take this concern seriously and respond appropriately. But attention magnifies behavior, and as I have stated on so many occasions, the more we feed the attention beast, the bigger it gets.
Be aware. Be informed. And be mindful of how your thoughts and actions drive perceptions. I am committed to contributing to an overall response of appropriate concern, and intentionally avoiding choices which perpetuate reactions of fear and anxiety.
I hope you are staying healthy and safe out there.