The Sky Is Falling, Chicken Little
by Mary Ellen Stepanich
There are people who look for omens or signs that foretell a possible future. Normally, I’m not one of those “Chicken Little” people. However, something came in the mail yesterday that has caused me to begin to feel my feathers ruffle.
Every month when my water bill arrives in the mail from the city, a newsletter accompanies it with announcements of upcoming events, helpful tips for homeowners, and a message from our city mayor, Cathy Carlat – a beautiful woman with a contagious smile and an appealing perkiness.
However, there was an ominous tone to this month’s message. Her intention, I’m sure, was to awaken citizen awareness of the need to preserve our natural resources. But to people who have been watching with trepidation the natural disasters that have devastated lands and oceans in recent days, the message took on darker undertones. Here’s an example:
“This is all the land we will ever have and we have only one opportunity to do [things] right.” [Yes!]
Later, she unintentionally made a good case against some of the recent actions taken by our U.S. government, such as pulling out of the international agreements to work for climate control:
“We must commit to ensuring that our most precious lands and cultural areas are safeguarded and accessible for future generations.” [You bet!]
But what really raised the hair on the nape of my neck was a side article discussing preparedness:
“Have a household disaster plan … keep enough supplies in your home to survive on your own for up to 10 days, and have a ‘go bag’ with items you may need in the event of an evacuation.” [… or a nuclear war?]
I do believe the sky may very well be falling, Chicken Little.
Dr. Stepanich is a retired professor of organizational behavior. She told her students at Purdue, “I’m very organized, but my behavior’s a bit wonky.” Her publications include academic journal articles; stories in Good Old Days magazine; a memoir, D is for Dysfunctional … and Doo-Wop; a novel, The Doo-Wops and the B-Flat Murder; and an award-winning radio play, Voices From the Front. Mary Ellen blogs on her website at MaryEllenStepanich.com, and can be reached via e-mail at DrStep@cox.net.