Considerable attention has been paid to bullying of late, especially regards kids. One of the things that we tend to overlook, however, is that those playground bullies grow up and, as people are nothing if not consistent, they tend not to change a whole lot. The boys who picked on the retarded kid down the block and the mean girls who didn’t invite the plain girl to the party grow up to be just as bossy, condescending, arrogant – and frightened – as they were as children.
Our culture trades on fear. This struck me – again – when I was in the gym the other day and noticed an ad on the television for a company that would, for a fee, protect you from “wage garnishments, property liens and [some other stuff]” if you owed money to the IRS.
Here’s the thing – those consequences are the natural and logical by-product of owing money to the IRS. So, why the scare tactic? Because when people are afraid they tend to make irrational, uninformed, impulsive – and usually expensive — decisions. Therein lies the makings for a mighty manipulation.