Blog: Path of my Life
by Karlin

How to React

choosing to react to negative events with calmness eases pain

Date:   8/14/2006 2:55:13 PM   ( 15 y ) ... viewed 1347 times

When something happens to us, we will react.

It is partly instinct and it is partly 'cultural training' in how we react. For eg. we stub our toe on the chairleg and we might react violently by #1]'kicking the damn chair', or we might be more mature about it and #2]simply grit our teeth in silence and move the chair over so it doesn't happen again, or we could #3] even try to experience the moment as 'part of being human' and actually feel the pain coursing thruough our bodies like it was interesting.

Those are just three of the types of reactions we might have, depending on who we are and where we grew up and what our fathers did when they stubbed their toes. An alien in a new human body would choose #3, but for those of us who have had this experience before, we would not find anything "interesting" about this pain. If you have other pains allready, you might just try to ignore this new one. People who are very stressed and easily triggered into anxiety will do #1, as well as those who generally have violent reactions to any disturbance.

Now, consider that the event was a terrorist attack, like suicide bombers who took out tall buildings with planes.
If it happened in the mainland USA, we have seen that they react with violence, even surpassing the original event in ferocity and scope.
If it happened in Canada, we could expect a less violent reaction, but only partly because Canada does not have enough military to invade another nation - and partly because Canadians like to resolve the reasons for the attack.
If it happened in Nepal where the Dalia Lama would live,they would try to settle the differences between them and the attackers.
[Nobody would like to "experience it fully"... there is nothing positive to experience in violent attacks.]

How we choose to react to violence is key to defining our culture. In the 1960's North American culture tried to change that definition, but it was defeated by the more powerfull commercial interests of "big business". The "military -industrial-complex" is still driving the wagons, and it is they who have led us into this pattern of military reactions. People, however, seem to be more willing to embrace another way, as evidenced by the war-protesting population in the USA now.

When violence is the reaction, violence will increase. Some feel this is the only option though, and hope to produce "a winner and a loser" with a violent reaction, and feel confident that they will be the winner due to their powerfull military. In reality, it has inflammed the terrorists and the threat has grown. As a type of reaction, we can see that the victim of 9-11 is doing #1 -jumping up and down screaming - and not minimising the pain at all [conspiracy theory explains this as evidence that the attack was indeed "wanted" by BushCo, and they planned this type of reaction as part of a larger plan to occupy Iraq].

Basically, the option other than a violent reaction to terrorism is to try and find ways to ease the tensions of the terrorists, no matter how unreasonable the demands of the terrorists might appear to America. They will no doubt say they want "less American influences in the Islamic nations", and that seem to make no sense to Americans. No matter what the demands are, the terrorists feel very strongly about it and so they should be listened to. This is what would happen in a mature society that is intent on dealing with the problems rather than finding ways to turn the problems into profits.

The best reaction to terrorist events is calm, not violence. Its just like stubbing your toe - it will hurt MORE if you jump around and start screaming. There is so many "side-reasons" for Americas approach of course, like trying to secure their oil supply. When we see Americas reacting to terrorism with such an infantile and misguided approach as "bomb the heck out of some Arab nation", it should be obvious that another motive is behind their reaction. They didn't even bomb Saudi Arabia or Pakistan where the terrorists mostly came from, they bombed and invaded and occupied Iraq instead, where the oil lies. It is so obvious, especialy when we look at what reactions are sane and which are emotional and then, which ones are completely irrational.

But thats all so confused with conspiracy and propaganda. On an individual basis, things get clearer. The real issue for humans is learning to react to negative events with a better method than instinct. We CAN do it, it takes a bit of training and practise though. It could be taught in schools, and then the next generation comes along with this knowledge, and might apply it to governing the nation.

It seem that after several years of having lots and lots of pain, individual people are more motivated to learn "better reactions", as a way to reduce their overall pain levels. This could apply to nations also. Violent instincive reactions allways produce more pain for the victim, and belie an immaturity whether individuals or a nation is involved.

The human race is on the cusp of saving ourselves with better reactions, more willingness to change, and motivations other than greed. This applies equally to global warming and terrorism. Either we learn how to react better as a nation, or we will see massive destruction all across the globe from extreme weather and/or military actions.

Perhaps we could have become that kind of race of people long ago it if were not for our leaders keeping us locked into a cycle of violent reactions.

Karlin



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