Can you hear that through the pitch-black darkness? That faint scratching overhead feinting with your mind? What could it be, that undeniable thing going bump in the night? Adult though you may be, the bogeymen of your childhood waste no time in haunting you anew. That vivid imagination so prized by parents and teachers is instantly your own worst enemy, contriving the ghastliest possibilities that validate your worst fears of the unknown innate in what the eye can’t see.
Would you feel better knowing your ancestors were justifiably filled with dread once the sun set? We mere mortals did not always dominate the animal kingdom. Our species would not self-actualize until the advent of technologies that enabled us to slay the beasts that roam until this day. We were once the hunted and that very dread was essential to survival, an inner element that could trigger the flight instinct when the predator was sure to prevail, as in eat its prey alive. We’re not talking ancient history here wither. Between 1932 and 1947, three generations of lions killed 1,500 people in the Njombe District of southern Tanzania. So deft were the prides, they set traps to catch humans.
In most corners of the world, the dark is simply the intentional absence of light, a condition that can be righted and lighted with the tap of a phone screen. As for our trepidations, lean on the wisdom of Marcus Aurelius, but not the one you may be thinking — emperor of Rome, leader of 75 million, a quarter of the world’s population, until his death in 180 A.D. Rather call upon his philosophy as he wrote in “The Meditations,” in Koine Greek, the same dialect the New Testament was written in. This was Aurelius’ personal journal, one he never intended for publication. Of the unknown, he dashed unfounded fears citing Socrates who, “used to call popular beliefs ‘the monsters under the bed’ – only useful for frightening children with.”
A year ago, central bankers’ worst nightmares were more than mere frights. From out of the shadows, liquidity vaporized into the murky midst, reducing the once brave to so many cowering children in corners. Visions of credit market calamities hoped to be vanquished to the nether world rose from the ashes of the Great Financial Crisis, leaving leaders with no choice but to bend to the will of markets.
Danielle DiMartino Booth is CEO and Director of Intelligence at Quill Intelligence
For a full archive of my writing, please visit my website — www.DiMartinoBooth.com
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