Blog Post

Ignoring the terror?

Falling asleep with the Christmas market attack in Berlin, waking up with Manchester on the mind and still thinking about what happened in London at the weekend. Breaking news - bad news appear on the phone at intervals of a few hours. But how should we handle this? Is it even possible? Still cutting bananas into your porridge in the morning?

Yes, that is exactly what we should do. Finding a way to cope with the fears of the world, a kind of "No concern" attitude, an inner imperturbability. Not that you should ignore bad news all the time - death, suffering, terror messages. But you should absorb them only with a healthy inner distance, if at all.

This could mean to fly to Paris a few days after the attacks. It can mean to go to a concert a week after the Manchester bombing. Or to cook with friends on Saturday – with no news update.

This concept may seem quixotic.

"Time for outrage!" is the motto. Be active! Be upset! In this excitement mode your life may feel better, more vibrant. But honestly, terrorist messages cause the opposite.

This could be seen watching television on Saturday night. Again and again, Live events were broadcast without essential new findings. This way an alleged news status and hence fear status was maintained.

Learn more! Take part! Worry! Take a look at this! Quite legitimate. But to keep the disasters at distance and smart emotion management will be just as legitimate and perhaps even necessary. Sometimes it is also part of a successful life to behave passively, to withdraw, being active only with family and friends. That may sound like a bourgeois concept. But in truth, it is the only rational way: if you do not care about yourself from time to time, you cannot help others.

Clearly you can rise above someone seeking peace with yoga while the next shooting happens. But what is the alternative? Absorb grief and mourning until you break down? Slipping into depression? Be cynical? Apathetic?

Maybe it's not the worst idea to fly to Paris or to take the train to London and maybe to discuss something other than the shock Saturday night brought to the city. If you have managed not to read the newspaper and look at your smartphone you will have noticed: the first people have started their conscious withdrawal already. And they did not seem to be unhappy about it, still being able to feel with victims but not given attackers the upper hand.