Turns out we are really bad at working out what is truly fearful, as David Ropeik explains in his book How risky is it, really? We prefer not to fear the real killers like obesity, global warming and heart disease, and persist instead in the mistaken notion that asteroids, insects and cell phone radiation will get us in the end.
Personally, I am between a rock (not an asteroid, thank goodness) and a hard place when it comes to the risk of flying – apparently getting to the airport should be more feared than the flight itself – a case of losing on the roundabouts what you gain on the swings?
Still, we will be hard pressed to calm our customers (even if we are armed with teddy bears and hugging for all we are worth) should there be a lightning storm or a shark in the library. We are all, quite rightly, terrified of them and a little bit of fear can save lives:
Sometimes the only thing we have to fear is a lack of fear itself
So what gets your palms all sweaty? And don’t say earthquakes – they didn’t feature in this article at all.