“The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself“
I am sitting her watching the news. I almost never watch the news. I only watch when they are spending hours telling us about the newest atrocity one set of humans has done to another set.
It seems I watch the news a lot these days.
Right now we are having the details of a local bomb attack slowly making their way to our ears. A major world-renowned event that is also a local tradition of 117 years, looked forward to and prepared for by many over many months, has become a magnet for violence. I live a half an hour from Boston, which is now in an uproar, because the annual Boston Marathon has been violated. And we do not even know to what purpose yet.
Is it sad that I cannot say I am NOT shocked?
When will we understand that spreading fear through violence ultimately does nothing except ask for violence in return? Sadly, though, the act of terrorism actually has a more insidious effect than immediate panic and violence. Especially in a part of the world that until recently thought itself immune to such attacks. Such acts plant a seed into minds, a seed that will grow over time to distrust, anger, hatred, and the loss of feeling safe in our own home. And the really sad thing about this is that the spreading of these seductive yet uncomfortable feelings, the actual spread of terror, is not accomplished by the terrorists themselves. The true culprit is the news that reports it, without even knowing the correct information; the social media that throw rumors around like a “reality” tv show. These are the true demons; the true reasons for fear; the true danger. Terrorism is only affective if we allow the fear to take hold of us. And the true irony is it is NOT the terrorist who achieve this. They create a horrible act of violence, which causes immediate fear and panic, but it would be no more than that if we did not give it life by actually spreading the notoriety.
There is a difference between caution and panic.
We are suddenly “shocked” that such a horrible thing can happen to US, meanwhile much worse happens on a daily basis in much of the world. Why do we not find fear in that? Why no horror? Is it only a concern if it happens to US? If it happens in our back yard? WE are the ones who give the terrorists power, by actually encouraging the seeds panted by the terrorists to flourish. Mourn the loss of life! Send positive thoughts to the injured! But don’t feel victimized, because we are not the only ones who must deal with such atrocity. Mourn that so many think that this is a solution to anything. Then move on with our lives. Don’t give the terrorist the power that they crave. Don’t once again turn this into US verses THEM. This is NOT another excuse for expanding the violence in the world. By constantly talking about it; constantly reporting information that has not even been obtained yet; constantly spreading rumors, we do nothing but play into the hands of the terrorist.
It is OUR fault that terrorism happens. Because WE keep feeding the flames that they start … containable fires that only turn into major conflagrations because WE make them so. If we prove that terrorism does nothing, maybe people will stop trying to use it as a weapon!
NOTE: Here are a few useful phone numbers for those who may have actual USEFUL information, or concerns that need to be addressed about this event:
- If you are trying to find out about missing loved ones, please call 617-635-4500.
- If you saw or know anything about the bombings, please call 1-800-494-TIPS.
- And if you’ve been triggered into stress by these events, please make a free call to the Disaster Distress Line: 1-800-985-5990.
- Thanks to Upworthy for this information.