“The goal of terrorists is to instil a level of fear in the public disproportionate to the actual threat.”
Chris Murphy, American Senator, Connecticut
The British philosopher, A.C. Grayling recently said that the aim of terrorism is to frighten civilian populations into forcing their governments to concede. “It takes only a few determined people to achieve this, applying the lesson….that small forces can defeat big ones; in the case of whole populations, by means of psychological war.” So as long as we realise the disproportionate nature of this ‘war’ and are cognisant of the fact that we are unlikely to be a victim of terrorism, indeed we are much more likely to get knocked down by a bus crossing the road while staring at that extended limb, the smartphone. Yes I have been known to do this too so guilty as charged.
I am currently reading” “The Better Angels of our Nature” by Steven Pinker because it was recommended by Bill Gates who said that this book should be given to every student on the day they graduate/as part of commencement ceremony. So on the basis that my first born will graduate next month, I needed to explore it first myself and so far I agree, it is brilliant, beautifully written and thoughtful and full of wisdom. Although first published in 2011, this quote seems particularly relevant right now:
“People today think of the world as a uniquely dangerous place. It’s hard to follow the news without a mounting dread of terrorist attacks, a clash of civilisations, and the use of weapons of mass destruction. But we are apt to forget the dangers that filled the news a few decades ago and to be blasé about the good fortune that so many of them have fizzled out…..The 1960s and 1970s were a vastly more brutal and menacing time than the one in which we live.”
Sleep well, enjoy each day because it is a gift, encourage a rational perspective with those you meet and finally pay attention as you cross the road.