Monday, May 6, 2013

Jerk Reactions

When ever something happens, the general response is to figuratively swat at it until it goes away. It's the typical fight or flight response to any sudden change. When a shooting occurs, there's a sudden outcry to get rid of all weapons as if it would suddenly make all gun violence go away. When there's a bombing, security is tripled  in the immediate vicinity. A form of temporary martial law if you will. These are short term solutions for problems that have existed long before they became apparent. What ever action is taken in the short term will eventually become withdrawn or loose effectiveness because of the simple psychology and human nature.

When something happens, what does it take to resist the overwhelming urge to take rash actions? To avoid demanding restrictions on personal freedoms that might come back to haunt us in the long run is an essential step in avoiding hysteria. We have to remind ourselves to take a breath, step back from it all, and remember the fundamental reality. We are of one species, upon a single planet hurling around one of billions of stars among billions of galaxies in a vast universe. On the cosmic scale, we've only existed in the blink of an eye. Life is too short and valuable to be wasted by restricting how others choose to live. Far to precious to spend on such insignificant issues.

There will be those who, perhaps blinded by dogmatic thinking, will choose to cause harm. This might unfortunately be the case for as long as mankind exists. Regardless, we must choose wisely when and how to act when others choose to cause harm. No matter how minor an instance might seem, none can be resolved by a knee jerk solution without real consequences. With out knowing the full reality, it is impossible to have a full solution. Step away from your tribes, watch from high ground, and observe not only the parties in question, but yourself as well.