Dr. Nicholas’ Corner: The Folly of Our Responses to Terrorist Acts

Photo: Nicholas Pediaditakis, Alkyonis Mental Health Center, Raleigh NC.
Photo: Nicholas Pediaditakis, Alkyonis Mental Health Center, Raleigh NC.

Editorial by Nicholas Pediaditakis, MD, DLFAPA

Our exaggerated responses, both by the officials and the media, while self-serving with the created big hullabaloo, to terrorist acts are in fact aiding and abetting their intended goals.

We human beings are logical; i.e., we correctly take logical actions to carry out decisions whether they are rational or not.

On the other hand, we humans are not rational — that is our assessment of a given situation is colored more often than not by our sentiments and beliefs, which in turn are determined by our human nature. They are rational on occasions and especially when we use the invented scientific method to safeguard us from biases. In reality, most of the time, assessment of a given situation prompted by our  feelings is dictated by our own human nature and is often irrational.

A case and point; in reality the danger of any one of us being struck by terrorists is less than being struck by lightening, while the danger of being killed in a car accident is literally several thousand times higher than being struck by a terrorist.

Here are the facts:   Forty thousand of us die yearly from car accidents, often involving texting, while an additional forty thousand die yearly from gun accidents. And yet, we drive every morning unmindful of the deadly danger, while a terrorist attack to the few unfortunate victims creates panic amongst us — a sense of imminent danger that one terrorist may be lurking around the corner.

Ironically, this exaggerated response not only plays havoc to our daily life but aids the terrorists’ goals. Thus, in reality they recruit our leaders who opportunistically or for political gains declare unspecified, rapid measures with helicopters ordered overhead, and rapid response squads with M-16s hiding behind armored cars with ready-to-fire machine guns. Meanwhile the media proclaims, shouts, and keeps repeating the tragic event as if it was a tsunami killing thousands yearly, while ironically, they coolly in a one-line announcement declaring that forty-thousand of our citizens died in car accidents. All these are monumentally foolish tribal games are harmful to us beyond our dead unfortunate citizens.

These actions by the leaders and the media are in fact not only inane, but counter-productive, aiding the terrorists’ goals and encouraging them to recruit yet another terrorist, another single or two terrorists, to create yet another havoc to our social life — and here it goes on and on in our folly. It will be more rational to be mindful of these facts and the minuscule danger each one of face with the terrorist and to treat them as what they are, small tragic incidences that cannot compete with the tragedies of our car accidents and gun-related accidents.

It will be rational and to our benefits if the authorities — while assuring us that they will take proper actions — played down the event of what it in fact is; the tragic death of a few citizens that leaves our country unaffected beyond our sorrow for them. This would not only abate our fears, but would deprive the terrorists of the leverage they have with our own irrational responses as they play their hands.

So, the next time you find yourself in an airport with one or two terrorists, just stay put, instead of running here and there like a chicken who lost its head. After all, the modern airport is really like a small city and the chances of a terrorist finding you is almost nil. But unfortunately, our reactions irrationally often results in self-induced harm.

So, when you prepare to drive to work every morning, be rationally mindful of the deadly dangers you’re exposed to among your “side-by-side” fellow drivers when you’re tempted as you are driving to text or to glance at your phone.

Copyright © 2017 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.

Ed. Note: The views and opinions expressed in an editorial or article are not necessarily those of the editors and do not necessarily reflect official policies or positions of The Grey Area News. This information is merely submitted for your consideration. If interested in submitting an article or editorial, email for review.

About Dr Nicholas Pediaditakis 44 Articles
Dr. Pediaditakis is based in Raleigh NC and a regular contributor to The Grey Area News. Dr. Nicholas’ blog may be read at chroniclersofthesoul.com.
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