I think we all have stopped in whatever we have been busy with. Some for longer, some for a brief moment, but we all have stopped this weekend. To absorb, try to understand, mourn, fear and be angry. In times like this it is very easy to make quick judgments which might result in devastating actions. This is why on a day like this we should take a step back and ask ourselves the WHAT question.
What is Terrorism?
Terrorism is an act designed to cause terror.
The objective of the action is to inflict fear. Fear that would stop us from whatever we were planning to do and push us into acting differently. The ancient human in us in a situation of fright would freeze, run or attack. Body works in a way that will support one of these three functions to it’s full capacity, shutting down all non crucial tasks in order to make us invisible to the danger, manage to flee or fight to survive. This is how we survived for thousands or years. And Paris events are aiming at these reflexes. Whoever designed that wicket machine wants us to freeze, run or jump to each other’s throats. Because even if we are not the ones who were murdered, and we are not families and friends of the victims, due to mass media reaching us on our living room sofas, we are sitting in the front row watching this horror revealing. Millions of people are terrified, angry and sad. And we should be.
However… whenever a life threatening event happens, we definitely should act immediately to ensure we are not at risk, but don’t you think we should not make any immediate actions to make long term solutions? Anger and fear are our worst allies. Anger and fear are best friends with hate and hostility. Do we really want to fall into the trap that has been so meticulously prepared for us?
I see terrorism as cancer. Not only because it is life threatening and sometimes very silent in its actions till it is too late. The worst is that it actually grows within us. Within our society, somehow somewhere there is a place where things go wrong. Where sick ideas bring people to acting the way they do.
But when we get diagnosed with cancer what do we do? We have all the right in the world to be afraid, angry and lost. But to beat it, after the initial shock is absorbed, we need to treat it. Look at it, study it in depth and make best decisions for our organism. Usually it is an operation followed by chemotherapy. Unfortunately both will lead to side-effects, so we need to make sure the right spots are targeted and the right medicine is applied.
Let’s double check that out of anger we are not chopping off our own limbs. If we act in resentment we will not get cured, we will let the cancer spread to other parts. Hate causes more hate. Anger ignites more anger. In a fight with our own self. Our human society.
Don’t take it out on your neighbors. Don’t take it on other people’s faith. Think what really can be cancerogenic. Faith or religion? Education or lack of it? Resources or poverty?
Let’s mourn for the people who have died this weekend in Paris.
Let’s mourn for the 250 000 that have died in Syria in four and a half years of war.
Let’s beat the cancer by being strong and thoughtful. Not angry and in the name of revenge.