Whew! I had no idea just how complicated the story of Chicken Little was until I decided to write about it. Who knew? I recognized a lot of names from my childhood but was shocked to know they participated in the old “sky is falling” scam. Holy cow. Who knew?
While the above list is certainly not complete, at least it gives you an idea of what we're up against when trying to recount the adventure of a chicken who had an acorn fall on her head (or a pea, depending on your version). Of course, the chicken freaks out (sorry, they're not famous for intelligence) and tells everyone she meets that the sky is falling. In the process, others of the birds and animals start to believe and they go nuts, too...spreading a rumor of doom that is not true...but by then is barnyard legend.
This story has been told to generations of children around the world. In some endings, a chick is set free to start a new world. In some, a king saves everyone. In most the fox sets a trap for his innocent prey because he's so clever and his frightened victims so weak. Even Walt Disney capitalized on this story in a World War II Chicken Little. In 1943 an animated short story was released to discredit Nazism by showing how one person could create fear in a civilized world and get away with hurting people along the way.
The reason I bring this up is because I've had some “sky is falling” moments during the past several months and I don't like them. This has caused me to write a new ending for the story and of course, I want you to be the first respondents.
So, here we go. It seems to me that pretty much every one I know has an uneasy feeling about the world we live in.We have earthquakes, fires, dead zones at sea, hurricanes, political unrest, shootings, bombings, wars, greed, sabotage and gluttony. It's not a movie...it's happening to us by default because we live on planet Earth. Most of us are bystanders. God help those who are not. All of us have a stake in what happens on this planet.
We are quickly becoming afraid of the one thing Geezer Tribe members really care about. News. We love news because it keeps us connected to a world which gets further and further away with each year we gain. Our newspaper subscriptions are going up in price and our faith in network news is being challenged. What to do? Find the facts. Find a source you trust. They are available to you if you have a computer or a library. Do your homework and if something sounds crazy...do some research.
I keep National Public Broadcasting on my page. I go there every morning to find out what is happening in the world. I don't rely on Facebook news or rumors. I don't rely on posts which are not based on facts. You already know I love facts and if you are like me, you'll find a whole herd of them on the Internet. Facts for free. Of course, you'll need to consider the source and read several versions of the same scenario to get what really happened. This is good because Geezer Tribe members have the time to find the real news.
Fake news is the new version of “The Sky is Falling” without a chicken or other barnyard animals. I will admit there are some pretty fowl things going on but you can't scare me. Why? I'm holding up the sky.
If we are lucky, we have a place to call home. No matter where we live, there is a sky over that home. This is ours...beautiful and blue, cloudy or raging with storm...but at least that space belongs to us. No one can take it away. Even if you can't see it...you know it's there. They might be able to take our land but they can't take the sky.
Every time I begin to think the sky might fall, I think of Chicken Little and I smile. I put my arms up as high as I can reach. I know the sky isn't falling. I am holding it up. If we all hold up the sky by doing the right things it will never fall because that sky is part of us and we are part of it. Together, we may stumble...but not fall. Besides, arm stretching is good for you. Put 'em up!