Contributed by Nicholas Pediaditakis, MD, DLFAPA
“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”
–Franklin D.Roosevelt, in his first Inaugural Address.
This statement was made by our President Roosevelt, dealing with the great depression. Fear surely works, for now terrorist acts — tragic as they may be — are minuscule compared to fear of a traffic or car accidents (40,000 deaths a year), or gun related events (again 40,000 deaths a year). Yet in a terrorist event, the entire community is agitated, demanding safety action, steered by raising xenophobia. Only those lost to terrorists is about 200 people in a year.
The terrorists rely on fear. The steered xenophobia erodes our institutions and plays havoc with our social relationships, especially if opportunistic politicos aiming for power and influence amplify the fear with their pronouncements helped by the media with its own frantic and continuous pronouncements.
During our recent family trip oversees, we visited five airports. The thousands of people — children, all ages, different faces, different appearances — all comfortable and happy. Furthermore, given the mechanics of our modern life, preventative measures can minimize their occurrence, but it is impossible to prevent all together.
Ironically the xenophobia works for the other side, not to our favor. Killing enemy chieftains with drones has obvious practical advantages indeed, but the innocent civilians killed as bystanders small as it may be, it certainly heightens the rage and thirst of revenge by the enemies so they retaliate prompting counter response from our side.
And so it goes.
Copyright © 2016 by Nicholas Pediaditakis, MD
For more information on Dr. Pediaditakis and his Raleigh NC mental health clinic, visit his Facebook page.
Dr. Nicholas’ blog may be read at chroniclersofthesoul.com.
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