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We are all watching the news about the “latest” world wide pandemic — the Coronavirus. I’m in my 60s and I’ve seen this played over and over again. It has been proven that just before elections, suddenly a world crisis occurs and a new disease is spreading.

The Coronavirus is the latest attempt at “whoever” is behind the scenes trying to sway opinions of those who “sit under” the authority of world leaders. The spreading of fear and pointing fingers is one of the tools in the world’s political tool box. They use it well. Especially when the other tools they used were not working. Call me a conspiracy theorist all you want. The facts are there and in an article published just before the 2016 election about the Zika virus — you can read how the media used it to sway political opinions — just as they are trying to do now. Check it out here: The Sky Is Falling! The Sky Is Falling! Another Election, Another Outbreak

Deep down, however, there is another virus we need to focus on. It’s the Virus of Manipulation. We’ve seen it locally in the last two years with the JEA debacle. We were told JEA was dying — rates would have to go up — people would be laid off — and — we would need to sell it to sustain our way of living.

They were all lies.

They were used to manipulate us. To get us to do what they wanted. To be a pawn in their game of greed. They were good at the game but as suddenly as the Virus at JEA came — it collapsed.

The manipulators lost. The people won.

And once you win one game against the Virus of Manipulation, you start to win others. You see, my friends, wisdom comes from experience and we have certainly been through some experiences lately! The way to become a warrior against the Virus of Manipulation is to become wise. Here’s how wisdom can be yours:

You acknowledge red flags.

You question authorities.

You dig deep into your research.

You listen more than you talk.

You seek counsel from experts.

You tell others what you’ve learned.

You call out the virus.

You speak truth.

You stand up.

You keep speaking and standing until you are heard.

The Virus of Manipulation is all around us and it will take the collective wisdom of our neighbors and friends to eradicate it from our culture and from the political powers downtown. The JEA Virus win for us was just the beginning of winning against other viruses spreading in our government. Using the Wisdom tools listed above will clean up our community and bring a peaceful lifestyle to all who live here.

And the next time someone runs for a political position in our city, they need to understand we are wiser from this experience. Their hearts need to be in the right place and if greed is their motive — let them beware:

“We will sniff it out quickly because we’ve smelled that stench before and we know how to extinguish the Virus of Manipulation.”

It’s great to see truth eliminate the Virus at JEA. Thank you to those warriors who made it happen! It’s nice knowing you had our backs.

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Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives

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