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HomeCommentaryHope vs Fear & Ignorance: Which will win?

Hope vs Fear & Ignorance: Which will win?

Hope-vs-Fear Our society is at war with itself. The downturn in the economy has brought great fears to many citizens. People who focus on their fears have little chance of seeing a solution. Fear is a paralyzing emotion. Mix that with ignorance of some basic facts that are misconstrued by devious politicians seeking their own aggrandizement and you get demonstrations that defy logic.

With citizens in all walks of life losing their jobs and needing hope, some officials more concerned about grandstanding they hope will lead themselves to higher political office than to addressing the suffering of the people who elected them.

When people need hope, more money in their pockets, possibility of new jobs opening up for which they are qualified, we are unfortunately faced with some politicians who are more interested in spreading lies than in solving problems.

Yes, we all have to support our government through taxes. Yes, we need to be as frugal as possible with public money. Yes, we need to cut pork out of all budgets—federal, state, local or personal.

But first we need to bail ourselves out of the mess we’re in.

willdurant2Will Durant said, “Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.”

We taxpayers have blithely believed that we could allow bankers, Wall Street, and our financial system to police itself. We forgot that these people have only one agenda—to make themselves as rich as possible with no regard for anyone else’s welfare.

Bankers who gave out loans as “sub prime” lending knew that they were going to raise interest rates on these poor unfortunates to the point that they would lose their houses. The banker didn’t care because he knew he would get his commission on the loan and eventually the bank would get the house. Amazingly, he forgot that banks aren’t in the business of holding astronomical numbers of houses on their balance sheets in order to resell them at a future date—especially when the bottom falls out of the real estate market.

Wall Street has encouraged average Americans who know absolutely nothing about the risks of investing in stocks to put their life savings into buying stocks. The old adage, “What goes up ultimately goes down,” works well in the stock market. If you can’t afford to lose every penny you invest, you have no business gambling in the stock market—because that’s what it is—gambling!


Oversight agencies in the government didn’t bother to check out some of the Ponzi scheme brokers so their clients are now poverty stricken.

The bottom line is that unless you are well educated about finances, you can get taken for the horror ride of your life.

Vernon Law

Education for whatever faces you in life is not always presented prior to its need. Vernon Law said, “Experience is the hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.”

We’ve had the lesson. Our country and many of its citizens are scalding in hot water. We now need to stop focusing on our fears and educate ourselves into a becoming a more productive society.

We have the capacity to get our society back on kilter. We have the energy to help each other in times of trouble. We have the know-how to reinvest in ourselves, our children and a more equitable distribution of resources in this country.

Listen to people who have a positive message. Support those who are trying to bail us out. Solve today’s problems and the future will take care of itself.

This country has spent trillions on wars during the past. It is necessary to defend ourselves at times of threat. We are now challenged to spend trillions on revamping our own infrastructure. We are resilient enough to spend where it is necessary, cut back on frivolous pursuits, and restructure our society so that our children have a better life.

Samuel Clemens - Mark Twain
Samuel Clemens - Mark Twain

Mark Twain said, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” H. G. Wells asserted that “History is a race between education and catastrophe.”

Educating yourself on the current situation means choosing messages that are sent from those without a personal agenda for blowing one’s own horn at the expense of the good of all.

Our system allows for fools to shout as loudly as the wise. It is up to each of us to judge which message we wish to hear and to act accordingly.

Personally, I choose hope, because the alternative is unthinkable.

Sue Freeman Culverhouse
Sue Freeman Culverhousehttp://culverhouseart.com/
Author of Tennessee Literary Luminaries: From Cormac McCarthy to Robert Penn Warren (The History Press, 2013) Sue Freeman Culverhouse has been a freelance writer for the past 36 years. Beginning in 1976, she published magazines articles in Americana, Historic Preservation, American Horticulturist, Flower and Garden, The Albemarle Magazine, and many others. Sue is the winner of two Virginia Press Awards in writing. She moved to Springfield, Tennessee in 2003 with her sculptor husband, Bill a retired attorney. Sue has one daughter,  Susan Leigh Miller who teaches poetry and creative writing at Rutgers University. Sue teaches music and writing at Watauga Elementary School in Ridgetop, Tennessee to approximately 500 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. She also publishes a literary magazine each year; all work in the magazine is written and illustrated by the students. Sue writes "Uncommon Sense," a column in the Robertson County Times, which also appears on Clarksville Online. She is the author of "Seven keys to a sucessful life", which is  available on amazon.com and pubishamerica.com; this is a self-help book for all ages.


  1. Does anyone know or care that the CRA or (Community Reinvestment Act) was the reason for the subprime loans? Does anyone know or care that the housing bubble was created by government intervention? Does anyone know or care that banks were just doing what was mandated by the government under a charrade of “fairness”? When traditional qualifications for acquiring loans such as credit and income were dismissed as “unfair” and qualifications such a being able to sign your name began to be the top requirement, even the most elementary economists warned of the looming danger. They were labeled as uncaring rich people, racists or bigots. We now have those people to thank, but the least we could do now is identify the problem, apparently, people don’t even want to admit it, even when the bubble bursts right in front of their face.

    Solve today’s problems and the future will take care of itself.

    This quote exemplifies the problem with the thinking, especially those on the fringes of the far left. Most “problems” aren’t “problems” at all, but natural occurrences that everyone must deal with at one point or another during their lifetime. More often than not, we emerge as stronger for the experiences we gain during troubled times. Having a business fail, getting fired, mounting health care bills, troubles with our health overall, wrecking a car, getting a divorce, having a house or car repossessed and stress from the workplace are just a few of the problems we all face from time to time. While its “nice” to have a safety net called government to provide you with unemployment, food stamps, housing, transportation, health care and the myriad of other entitlements we now offer, the TRUE greed we must address and discard are the ones who continue a lifestyle of handouts with no ambition to improve their situation. The fraud, corruption, greed and selfishness of the collective, entitlement-minded segment of our society makes Bernie Madoff look like a petty thief. This country was founded on the desire for independence, yet roughly 40% of income earners do not contribute to the Federal income tax. It sounds to me as if keeping people dependent upon the government for services is a sure fire way to guarantee votes and support, especially when presented in a compassionate manner. True compassion and help is helping people help themselves, not insulting them by assuming they’ll never amount to anything and providing things they can easily provide for themselves. We’ve evolved into a nation of pansies, gutless men, and guiltless acceptance of free rides. You are right about one thing Mrs. Culverson, we always have “HOPE”, but most of us choose REALITY.

  2. No one should add “mounting health care” bills to their already huge stack of problems. When people lose their houses due to healthcare its not a problem that your average American can fix by themselves.
    What is the excuse on flexible mortgages…..where mortgage companies can alter your monthly cost at will?

    Easily provide for ourselves? You have to be wealthy to provide good quality healthcare. One mistake, one small broken elbow can set you back thousands even with insurance. People are forced into THOUSANDS of dollars in debt and lose their cars, houses and dignity all because of healthcare. Some people lose their houses because they have a baby…..So help themselves? hardly.

    Why does it always have to be a far leftist issue? Why can’t it be a personal issue on a case to case basis. To me it shows ignorance to assume only one group of people are interested in change. To truly educate yourself on people’s veiws, you need to step away from politics and focus on the fact that we’re all humans first.

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