Sunday, October 28, 2012

Scare the Hell out of you

I shouldn’t admit this, but I’m a sucker for when people try to sell me something at my door.

I’ve had sales jobs, and generally hated them, and so I often buy whatever is being sold out of pity for the person, more than a desire for the product. Granted, Girl Scout Cookies and Boy Scout Popcorn are pretty darn yummy.

On a recent trip, we had pulled off at a McDonald’s to use the restroom and get a quick bite. While in the parking lot, a young man knocked on our driver’s side window. I thought this was odd, but he didn’t look scary so I rolled down my window and asked him what he wanted.

“I’m selling Krispy Kreme donuts for my church. Would you like to buy some?”

My wife was still in the restaurant, so she couldn’t save me from myself. I agreed to buy some. After all, they were Krispy Kreme donuts!

I paid the young man and he thanked me. He walked back to a minivan that was parked a few spaces away from us. I noticed on the back of his van there was a big sticker—several times bigger than a bumper sticker. It said something along the lines of “Want to go to Hell? Keep doing what you’re doing.” The words were surrounded by flames.

It was weird, but I didn’t give it much thought until later when we opened the box of donuts. Inside of it was a little booklet stapled to the box. This is what the cover looked like:

My wife and I looked at each other like, “What in the world?”

She put it aside and I told her I wanted to look at it when we got to our destination—if for no other reason than morbid curiosity.

When I was able to glance over it, the booklet was filled with disturbing cartoon-like images, all of them warning about the power of Lucifer. Here’s an example:

Those who know me, know that I have certain beliefs about spiritual matters that I hold sacred. I don’t force on other people, though I’m happy to share with those that ask. I don’t try to convince anyone to my point-of-view. It doesn’t work. Yet when I do get to share my beliefs, I try to do so in a positive manner.

I don’t believe scare tactics, like those found in the booklet we were given, are effective. Why? I believe that people are influenced by what they focus on.

In the 2012 presidential campaign, I’ve seen time and again how politicians (and their supporters) from all viewpoints spend their energy focusing on the negative aspects of their opponents. Often it turns into name calling.

Many Facebook postings are filled with “facts” that point out the flaws of the “other guy.”

All this negativity isn’t a good thing. If all you focus on is the negative, then you’ll become negative.

Some may argue that many of my blogs are negative—meaning I’m pointing out something that is “off” in the world. But, my goal is to give a different perspective on various topics, hopefully a rational one.

1 comment:

  1. I saw a series of these little booklets years ago that were being passed out by a church group during the Zozobra burning. They covered a range of subjects - anti-Muslim, anti-homosexuality, anti-abortion, etc. All used scare tactics and went on about how Christianity is the only way to Heaven. Those are the only books that I have ever burned.