Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Refuse to Be Afraid

Q:  "What should people be thinking about in the aftermath of an attack like this?"

A: "They should refuse to be terrorized. Terrorism is a crime against the mind. What happened in Boston, horrific as it is, is theater to make you scared. That’s the point. The message of terrorist attacks is you’re not safe, and the government can’t protect you — that the existing power structure can’t protect you.

I tell people if it’s in the news, don’t worry about it. By definition, news is something that almost never happens. The brain fools you into thinking the news is what’s important. Our brains overreact to this stuff. Terrorism just pegs the fear button. . .

This is a singular event, and not something that should drive policy. Unfortunately, you can’t prevent this sort of thing 100 percent. Luckily, terrorism is a lot harder than people think, and it happens rarely. The question people asked after 9/11 is what if we had three of these a year in the United States? Turns out there were none. People get their ideas on terrorism from movies and television. . .

The damage from terrorism is primarily emotional. To the extent this terrorist attack succeeds has very little do with the attack itself. It’s all about our reaction. We must refuse to be terrorized. Imagine if the bombs were found and moved at the last second, and no one died, but everyone was just as scared. The terrorists would have succeeded anyway. If you are scared, they win. If you refuse to be scared, they lose, no matter how much carnage they commit."

Read the Washington Post, 'If you are scared, they win. If you refuse to be scared, they lose.'