Friday, April 19, 2013

Dealing with terrorist attacks

I've been thinking a bit about the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon.  There is a formula for dealing with terrorist attacks, and we need to be reminded from time to time about what it is, since our tendency these days is to engage in the Great American Freakout.

This is advice for ordinary people to follow.

Mourn the dead by allowing yourself to feel sorrow--briefly: days, not weeks--for the loss of life and for the lives that were directly changed.

If it is your job to do so, patch up the wounded.

If it is your job to do so, work to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Otherwise, move on.  Refuse to be terrorized. Live in courage, not fear.

When there is a terrorist attack, don't fetishize it.  If it didn't happen to you, it didn't happen to you. Your world didn't end.  Don't behave as though it did.

These things may be hard to do.  I didn't say it was easy.  But it does work.

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