Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Anxiety = Action

Recently I wrote a blog on the relationship between responsibility and authority. If commensurate authority is not granted to those with responsibility, you create a formula for ulcers (eg: you are responsible for the weather and will be evaluated on it). Several people commented on the need for accountability to be demanded from those with authority, otherwise you have dictatorships and abuse of power.
Kenton Anderson was talking with me today and talked about a similar equation: linking anxiety to action. When I encounter something that creates anxiety, I need to take some sort of action to diminish the threat and to lower my anxiety. If, for instance, the weather forecast calls for a severe storm, I take action by going inside the house to a safe room in the house and not sit outside and worry.
With the Virginia Tech tragedy unfolding non-stop on TV and newspapers, are we not perpetuating anxiety without any action response. I keep seeing police cars racing down streets with their sirens on and police officers running from their cars with guns drawn. Bodies keep getting dragged out of the buildings and a shaky camera video keeps echoing shots. I wonder, does this repetition help me in any way? Is it giving me anything new to process, know or do something about?
That led to a tangential thought about the video shows of worlds worst accidents, most dangerous animals, etc. We know something bad is going to happen. And it does, and they play it over again, but this time slowly, so we can savor the pain. Is this not kind of pornographic in a way? It draws us into something that does us no good, in fact scars our souls and etches our memories?
Maybe it's time to turn off the tv.


At 7:30 PM , Blogger kent said...

When CNN and MSNBC and Fox News run the story for hours on end, covering every angle and asking anyone with a pulse for their thoughts and opinionss all they do is amp up the anxiety. You hear commnets abolut locking down college and truying to make them safe, you see the anxiety level going through the roof.

How many college are there, how many students? This was one man, one very sick man.

At 10:00 PM , Blogger Ingrid said...

Amen to this and the previous post. Most of what passes for "news" is human-tragedy voyeurism that doesn't change one iota of how people live and treat each other, except perhaps to make us more calloused, defensive, and afraid.

Maybe instead of worrying about where the $ for more metal detectors will come from we should concern ourselves with why so many people in this sad, sick, tired world are driven to kill.


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