fear, uncertainty and doubt

For nearly one-hundred years many marketing and sales organizations have formulated their promotion and sales strategies with the express purpose of denigrating, disparaging, and even on occasion rapaciously destroying their competition. Rather than illustrating the benefits and positive advantages provided with their own product or service companies have skewered their competition by pushing unfavorable and negative opinion and often unsubstantiated and completely inaccurate speculation about their competitor’s product or service.

I will fear no evil

I will fear no evil

The current incarnation of this tactic has been attributed to Gene Amdahl who used the term Fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) in 1975 to describe the sales tactics then in use by IBM to maintain their stranglehold on the computer mainframe market.

Unfortunately this tactic has spread well beyond the corporate world and today we find it being used pervasively and with great aplomb within the confines of public relations, politics, propaganda, education and even religion. It has transcended from a strategic sales exercise into a nearly universal art form. It has tainted our everyday lives, discoloring and distorting the images of our families, friends, neighbors and others. We can no longer see the good for it has been overshadowed by our understanding of the bad.

When assurance, trust and confidence are replaced by fear, faith is diminished and contentment, happiness and courage are lost. Uncertainty results in temerity and reluctant argument while doubt adds fuel to the fires of fear and uncertainty lending credence and guarantee to misinformation, disinformation, and deliberate lies.

Poisoning our hearts, souls, and minds with fear, uncertainty and doubt is nothing short of spiritual homicide for FUD erodes and emasculates faith, hope and love. It destroys the spirit of man to dream, to strive, and to achieve.

It is the spirit that inspires and uplifts the mind of man to soar beyond the limits of his own mortality. It is the spirit that defines us and makes us more than mere instinctual obsequious creatures whose only consequence is existence and whose loss is unremembered.  It is the spirit that hungers and thirsts for immortality and eternity with God.

It is with certain knowledge that we recognize our imperfections, our faults and weaknesses. Each of us has at one time or another been afraid of a thing unknown or an unanticipated terror. Built within us is a ‘flight or fight’ emotional response mechanism that is natural, normal and beneficial. But fear maliciously instilled and purposely designed to kill our spirit and immobilize our actions is both inhumane and wrong. Francis Bacon in his essay on Tribute published in 1597 acknowledged our innate human tendency toward fear but he further remarked that “Nothing is to be feared but fear itself. Nothing grievous but to yield to grief.”

Nothing is of absolute certainty in life and a healthy dose of incredulity and skepticism is both admirable and warranted. It is when uncertainty and doubt are malevolently seeded by deliberate distortions, convoluted facts and contrived innuendo that our uncertainty and doubt are driven to unacceptable, near maniacal levels.

Overcoming this pervasive milieu of fear, uncertainty and doubt can only be accomplished through an unwavering commitment of faith. A firm and steadfast faith along with an unconditional trust in God’s love and mercy will dispel any unwarranted fear, uncertainty and doubt. God’s love and your faith will always be enough.

Deacon Chuck

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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