These are turbulent times. Violence is all over the news; be it a mass shooting, a drone strike or a senseless fight breaking out and ending in a death. I have been contemplating the climate we seem to be in as well as tracking my own responses and I keep coming back to the issue of helplessness. Many of these events, and our own internal responses to them, have a common component of helplessness. Yet the experience of helplessness is so uncomfortable we often resist it and jump right to anger, indignation and even aggression, so as to give ourselves some sense of having power and control. Helplessness often carries with it a feeling of fear and isolation and we can see how this cocktail of emotions can motivate people’s actions and attitudes. They may buy a gun. They may seek out like-minded people so as not to feel isolated or challenged. It is such a basic instinct; get a weapon and find your tribe. This is human history in a nutshell. The tribes have gotten bigger and the weapons we have created are so powerful we have the capacity to destroy our entire species as well as the planet. Perhaps it is time to deal with our helplessness in another way.
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