Are we prepared?
Recently I was in the middle of conversation about "Education." This has really started me to thinking.
I'm not talking about the Education levels of researchers, so back away from the comment button.. LOL.
Ok - here is a hypothetical situation:
1. Bigfoot is documented and proven to exist.
2. Protected status hearings have started.
Now, how do you think the general public is going to view this new development in their daily lives? By the time this hits Washington D.C., news of this newly discovered animal will have already hit the front page of every newspaper in this country. What affect will that have on the nations hikers, campers, hunters, and suburban families with a cabin in the woods?
How do you think they will recieve this information?
My mind goes back to the Movie "Jaws." This movie was based on true events, HERE is a great link for information on the true story behind the movie. For those ten days, and long after, the area was frozen in fear. But why? We always knew sharks were a reality, why now all of the sudden had they become such a horrible creature?
Then the Movie, "Jaws" came along and restarted the fear all over again. People really believed the theory of a rogue shark with the ability to hold a grudge - was in the ocean just waiting to eat humans. What was the response by humans?
Kill the Great White Shark.
The worst part about this is we're finding now, it was probably a Bull Shark and not a Great White.
Thousands of Great Whites have been killed, and are now riding on the edge of extinction. Then science started understanding this animal and began educating the public. But who knows how long it will take to undo the damage done by people.
What caused all this?? In a word .... FEAR.
Now, what if this animal, which has been a legend and laughed at by so many within our society, is proven to exist?
Who will take on the responsbility to "Educate" the public about this animal?
Will it be left to those who have been researching this animal? When will that education begin? Are we prepared for that? What do we have to help calm nerves in society?
Do we honestly believe there will not be fear attached to the discovery of this animal? I think we are kidding ourselves if we think that's the case. When I first became involved in this search, I was absolutely terrified at the prospect of seeing one of these animals at close range. I decided to "Educate" myself. I began reading reports, talking to people who had witnessed this animal, and now I understand a couple things; my chances of seeing one are slim to none, and if I ever did I would likely fair better than if I met face to face with a shark.. LOL. But, I took the time to try to educate myself - will the majority do that? I doubt it. The general public will rely on what they know. Right now that is an image based on scary movies and the idea that this animal is HUGE and potentially very powerful. That will be the focus for many.
Is "Education" an issue we should address?
I personally think it is. While no one might listen now - they will want to know IF this animal is documented. To say "Well, that could be 10, 20, 50 years down the road - is not part of the solution either, as it is, possible proof could come at anytime - and if it does....
Are we prepared?