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Terrorism and trees

If a tree falls in a forest, and there is no one to  hear it, does it make a sound?

I am pretty sure trees fall quite often,  yet it is not something that I worry about.    But, what would happen if a tree falling – like terrorism – were reported across every news outlet constantly for days and days?  Imagine if we walked into stores and instead of terrorism, we saw newspapers depicting falling trees – the devastation caused,  interviews with survivors and witnesses and experts discussing all the potential ways that trees could fall in future.   We would probably become quite concerned about the issue.

This is exactly what happens with the media whenever something ‘news worthy’  occurs.

Recently, in the UK we suffered a terrorist attack.  In truth it was quite minor with a handful of deaths.   Now, I am in no way am I dismissing the trauma to those concerned but we need to keep this event in perspective.

The reality check

In 2015, Europe suffered 175  fatalities from terrorism [1].  In 2015 Europe suffered 26,000 road traffic fatalities [2].   Furthermore, according to research published in the Lancet it takes 29 minutes for 175 children to die from malnutrition in this world [3]  – that’s 10 seconds per child death.

The media is responsible for propagating the irrational fear of terrorist  attacks.  The reality is that the world faces far greater problems.  So please,  let’s keep perspective. Even in the face  of the hysterical  publicity of events  that, in reality,  are not a major risk.

What concerns me

I vow to continue my life without fear of terrorism,  however I do also vow to something to help poverty in this world.  Something that kills far more people than terrorism.

Sources

[1] http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/specialist/statistics_en

[2] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22935692

[3] http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/sites/roadsafety/files/pdf/observatory/trends_figures.pdf

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44 Comments »

  1. I also refuse to live in fear. I could die from so many other reasons besides terrorism. People are too scared today and cannot enjoy their lives. I enjoy mine so when I do die, there will be few, if any, regrets.

    Like

    • Yes, it seems like a poignant reminder of George Orwell’s 1984, “War is peace”, “Freedom is slavery”, and “Ignorance is strength”. Much is subliminal too, a caught glance of a newspaper headline in shop, fragments of news drifting through the world. A lovely person I know commits a wonderful act of defiance in reversing news papers in stores, I loved this idea and have done so myself since 🙂 In fact, I confess to also throwing away the odd newspaper in coffee shops as my personal act of rebellion against the conditioning. Peace and love 🙂

      Like

  2. I also refuse to live in fear. I could die from so many other reasons besides terrorism. People are too scared today and cannot enjoy their lives. I enjoy mine so when I do die, there will be few, if any, regrets.

    Like

    • Yes, it seems like a poignant reminder of George Orwell’s 1984, “War is peace”, “Freedom is slavery”, and “Ignorance is strength”. Much is subliminal too, a caught glance of a newspaper headline in shop, fragments of news drifting through the world. A lovely person I know commits a wonderful act of defiance in reversing news papers in stores, I loved this idea and have done so myself since 🙂 In fact, I confess to also throwing away the odd newspaper in coffee shops as my personal act of rebellion against the conditioning. Peace and love 🙂

      Like

  3. I agree Simon. We have to keep it all in perspective. However, no great trend ever arises just out of the blue. It starts small and “seemingly insignificant or not as important as” our day to day distractions. That’s just it. Our day to day distractions can often keep us from seeing or noticing subtle changes in our world. It’s the noticing what we notice, that is important. Not getting hyped up with fear about every report of something “horrific”. Being fearless in the face of hysteria, fake news, and real danger is the trick in this life. I enjoy your posts.

    Like

  4. I agree Simon. We have to keep it all in perspective. However, no great trend ever arises just out of the blue. It starts small and “seemingly insignificant or not as important as” our day to day distractions. That’s just it. Our day to day distractions can often keep us from seeing or noticing subtle changes in our world. It’s the noticing what we notice, that is important. Not getting hyped up with fear about every report of something “horrific”. Being fearless in the face of hysteria, fake news, and real danger is the trick in this life. I enjoy your posts.

    Like

  5. “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
    Frank Herbert ‘DUNE’

    This quote is so apt under the circumstance.

    I watch only a little of what the media reports, but it is a constant agitation of the spirit, and mostly unnecessary for anyone unless watching the financial global picture, and that can be handled by Blogs or Newsletters.

    A weekly summary by a radio show keeps me up with the news…and I don’t get the fear thrown at me anymore.

    I highly recommend it, so that if a tree falls, only the squirrels and rabbits will know or care.

    Like

  6. “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
    Frank Herbert ‘DUNE’

    This quote is so apt under the circumstance.

    I watch only a little of what the media reports, but it is a constant agitation of the spirit, and mostly unnecessary for anyone unless watching the financial global picture, and that can be handled by Blogs or Newsletters.

    A weekly summary by a radio show keeps me up with the news…and I don’t get the fear thrown at me anymore.

    I highly recommend it, so that if a tree falls, only the squirrels and rabbits will know or care.

    Like

  7. Media thrive on bad news. They also exaggerate every single aspect of anything to an abnormal extent. I have noticed even the weather forecast tries to make everything look worse than it is.
    Well, there is a reason media want you to focus on one thing and completely forget about another which is way more important, maybe for you particularly, maybe for whole nations. You will see and hear only what’s in line with some approved propaganda. People who think at least do not blindly believe anything. My experience is that many people do not think, do not have their own opinion or perspective and do not see the whole picture.
    Talking about news, I stopped watching CNN some year ago, so biased, I cannot take their speculations. News has to be objective or it isn’t news. Canadian news agencies just re-report exactly the same what CNN, in order we would not bother with our total failure PM Justin Trudeau, lack of health care, corruption and injustice, but fill our heads with Trump and USA policies. Awkward and silly, but that’s just the way it is.
    Poverty and injustice definitely cause much more troubles than anything else, but we are supposed to let it slide.

    Like

    • Yes! I stopped the news a while ago, although sometimes it creeps back into my life. I find it sometimes fills a vacuum and usually indicates that I am not involved with aspects of my life as well as I should. We are so conditioned and the media reports are a big part of this, unfortunately we live in fear, not unlike George Orwell’s 1984.

      Like

  8. Media thrive on bad news. They also exaggerate every single aspect of anything to an abnormal extent. I have noticed even the weather forecast tries to make everything look worse than it is.
    Well, there is a reason media want you to focus on one thing and completely forget about another which is way more important, maybe for you particularly, maybe for whole nations. You will see and hear only what’s in line with some approved propaganda. People who think at least do not blindly believe anything. My experience is that many people do not think, do not have their own opinion or perspective and do not see the whole picture.
    Talking about news, I stopped watching CNN some year ago, so biased, I cannot take their speculations. News has to be objective or it isn’t news. Canadian news agencies just re-report exactly the same what CNN, in order we would not bother with our total failure PM Justin Trudeau, lack of health care, corruption and injustice, but fill our heads with Trump and USA policies. Awkward and silly, but that’s just the way it is.
    Poverty and injustice definitely cause much more troubles than anything else, but we are supposed to let it slide.

    Like

    • Yes! I stopped the news a while ago, although sometimes it creeps back into my life. I find it sometimes fills a vacuum and usually indicates that I am not involved with aspects of my life as well as I should. We are so conditioned and the media reports are a big part of this, unfortunately we live in fear, not unlike George Orwell’s 1984.

      Like

    • Thank-you. We are so conditioned, like a sponge we soak up what we are exposed too, I try to be careful these days what I let into my psyche. peace and love to you, Doc Arnett

      Like

    • Thank-you. We are so conditioned, like a sponge we soak up what we are exposed too, I try to be careful these days what I let into my psyche. peace and love to you, Doc Arnett

      Like

  9. Good point. The news is the source for our storytelling as a collective community in much the same way as our ancestors used to pass on information around camp fires – they help shape our attitudes and construct our collective narrative of the world. The problem is nowadays advertising and the priorities for profit distort the narrative and skew our reality towards a meaningless end designed to sensationalise news- and to that end dichotomize reality. I’m with you – everything has to be put in perspective and in context.

    Like

  10. Good point. The news is the source for our storytelling as a collective community in much the same way as our ancestors used to pass on information around camp fires – they help shape our attitudes and construct our collective narrative of the world. The problem is nowadays advertising and the priorities for profit distort the narrative and skew our reality towards a meaningless end designed to sensationalise news- and to that end dichotomize reality. I’m with you – everything has to be put in perspective and in context.

    Like

  11. Interesting post. I read it as saying three things – I’m not so keen on the first, but I agree with the other two. Your first point seemed to be ‘Terrorism is less common than world poverty, so it should be less of a concern.’ I could see that same logic being pushed to absurdity – “x is less common than y, therefore it should be less of a concern”. For example – I wouldn’t want to say to the parents of a victim of terrorism that “your tragedy is less common than world poverty, therefore less of a concern”. If I wouldn’t want to say something to someone’s face, than maybe I need to pause for thought.

    But I agree that living without fear is a v good idea, if you can manage it (tips please). And it is better to use your energy on things that you can do something about (even if it is only something little), than on something that you have no realistic chance of influencing. Forgive me if I have misinterpreted your thoughtful reflections – which I enjoyed.

    Like

    • I am not diminishing the suffering of those involved in any way. I am quite cynical of the media and fear is a big lever. Living without fear? Hard, but I find that buddhism helps a lot. But, mostly, thanks for taking the time to comment, it certainly helps me to question my motives and meaning.

      Like

  12. Interesting post. I read it as saying three things – I’m not so keen on the first, but I agree with the other two. Your first point seemed to be ‘Terrorism is less common than world poverty, so it should be less of a concern.’ I could see that same logic being pushed to absurdity – “x is less common than y, therefore it should be less of a concern”. For example – I wouldn’t want to say to the parents of a victim of terrorism that “your tragedy is less common than world poverty, therefore less of a concern”. If I wouldn’t want to say something to someone’s face, than maybe I need to pause for thought.

    But I agree that living without fear is a v good idea, if you can manage it (tips please). And it is better to use your energy on things that you can do something about (even if it is only something little), than on something that you have no realistic chance of influencing. Forgive me if I have misinterpreted your thoughtful reflections – which I enjoyed.

    Like

    • I am not diminishing the suffering of those involved in any way. I am quite cynical of the media and fear is a big lever. Living without fear? Hard, but I find that buddhism helps a lot. But, mostly, thanks for taking the time to comment, it certainly helps me to question my motives and meaning.

      Like

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