The Power of Certainty

In giving thought to both the “successes”, endurance and recruiting power of terrorist groups worldwide, its apparent to me that the one thing they have going for them is Certainty. No matter how irrational or destructive their goals, terrorists are certain, they have no doubt, about those goals or the acceptable means of achieving them. 

Certainty is the engine that drives achievement.  Its the power that moves an idea or intention to fruition.  Lacking certainty, it is easy to either 1) lose your way, or 2) be persuaded by the power of someone else’s certainty.

How this applies to our current political and economic situation is of utmost importance.

In any free society  (read as “democracy” or “republic”) there will always be an endless onslaught of ideas. This is the nature, and the intention, of such societies.  The free and unfettered exchange of ideas.   The extent to which an individual, or group, has certainty regarding their particular idea will drive, and likely determine, the dissemination and acceptance of that idea by the many. 

Particularly in times of economic hardship, when individuals seek out way to alleviate the burdens of financial uncertainty, an idea or proposed solution buttressed by the passion of certainty is most compelling.  Such was the power behind the success of Adolf Hitler and, as said earlier, global terrorism.

So how do we translate this awareness and apply it to the United States in 2010 as we face greater economic uncertainty that ever before in our nation’s history? How do we make it work for us and for the good?

Poetically, and literally, I suggest you listen within.

Each of us has an inner knowing and that inner knowing has a voice.  The key is to trust that you know then turn down the onslaught of external chatter so you can hear the voice of knowing.

Knowing tells you that you cannot get out of debt by spending more money that you have.  Knowing also tells you that the money in Monopoly is neither real or valuable nor are vast sums of money that are continuously printed with nothing to back up their worth. 

There is statistical evidence through a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll out that the movement identified as “The Tea Party” currently has a higher approval rating (41%) than both the Democrats (35%) and the Republicans 28%).


The growing popularity of the Tea Party Movement can be understood by its certainty.  Adherents and followers alike know with certainty that the federal government has lost its way. To the contrary, politicians are being manipulated, tossed and bossed about like falling leaves on a windy day.  Their collective uncertainty provides no momentum for sustained problem solving and so they have become ineffective at successfully addressing that which needs correction.

And so the Tea Party Movement’s message of certainty is compelling and contagious.  I suspect their numbers will continue to grow as will their influence.

This may be a good thing. 

Ultimately, however, as tougher and tougher decisions need to be made as part of the course correction that is coming, each of us will have to know, with certainty, what it is we want and what we are and are not willing to do to achieve it.

In the meantime, what we can do individually is go within, listen, and be certain about what we believe for the time is coming when inner certainty may well be the only guiding force you can rely on…with certainty.




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