“American nightmare” ~ It is time to wake up

 I am considered to be a stress management consultant and a humorist. But I am also an advocate for inner peace, world peace, compassion and empathy for self and others. Most people expect me to write about things that will make them laugh, but I have a great need to comment on the violence that has become so much a part of the American culture and the apathy that is associated with it.

    How did the American way of life become so contaminated with fear of being gunned down in places that heretofore were considered safe? Who would ever imagine that while you were watching a movie someone would decide to open fire and kill dozens of people? How could anyone think that an individual could murder children, their teachers and principal while they innocently attended school? How about Representative Gabrielle Gifford and her constituents? Has she simply become lost in our memories in lieu of the slaughters that have come after her? And the carnage continues with the shootings of thirteen individuals in Washington DC.

    As a result of all the above schools are now hiring security guards, some malls have soldiers patrolling them, and it is not unusual to have signs that say that all your bags are open to be inspected. In other words, ‘be aware you could be in danger no matter where you go”. Fear escalates the stress response and I know for a fact that stress has grown exponentially over the last twenty years. Yes the economy is a factor, and the constant busyness. But as more and more mass murders are committed we begin to consistently feel hyper vigilante. A physical condition that creates anxiety and depression. In America today millions of people are on some type of anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication.

   Were we safer when I was growing up. Certainly we never had the need to fear being shot in a movie or in our schools or any other place unless the Mafia was after one of us. We did fear the atom bomb being dropped on us by Russia. But that fear only surfaced when we had drills in school and had to hide under our desks. Which in retrospect can certainly be seen as ludicrous.

   Perhaps it’s time to have Town Hall dialogues that try to come up with solutions to stop what has become “violence as usual”.  We seem to spend a lot of effort figuring out how to stop violence in other countries, maybe we should take some of that energy and put it into intervening in what is becoming part of the “American nightmare”.

 

About lorettalaroche

An international stress management and humor consultant whose wit, and irreverent humor, has, for over 30 years raised the humor potential in all of us. She is on the Mass General advisory council for anxiety and depression and was recently awarded the National Humor Treasure Award. Loretta writes a weekly newspaper column called, ‘Get a Life’.

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3 Responses to “American nightmare” ~ It is time to wake up

  1. Susan says:

    town hall meetings would at least bring us together face-2-face. anonymity, apathy, how’d it get like this? was it tv? violent movies and games? is it overcrowding? why is it most people are so callous towards one another? Were we invaded by the Pod-People?! .. sometimes I think so.. As a society we are extremely dysfunctional. “it’s Them!” instead of taking personal responsibility we want to be sheep. Enact more laws? It won’t help. I agree with Anne-Marie. Love is the only cure so spread it! Treasure yourself and treat All others as you would have them treat you. If we did then we’d see heaven on earth right now.

  2. Anne-Marie Reardon says:

    Thanks so much, Loretta, for this great message. It is just terrible how our world has become just so crazy. I hate watching the news, I think you said not to watch it when I saw you speak. I don’t know how it became so crazy or who or what is to blame. Does the internet and everyone having a camera on their phone and twitter and get information so fast have anything to do with it? Does the media like to hype up these stories so all you do is relive everything awful that has happened. When looking at a horrific news story, suddenly there were be pictures of dead bodies, which take you by surprise since you don’t expect that and that is not good for our brains. I love the prayer of of St Francis of Assisi, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,! Where there is hatred, let me sow love, where there is injury-pardon, where there is doubt-faith, where there is despair-hope, where there is darkness-light, where there is sadness-joy. Oh Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled-as to console, To be understood-as to understand, To be loved-as to love; For it is in giving-that we receive, It is in pardoning-that we are pardoned, It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” I just try, in my own world, and in my own life, to treat others well to make the world a better place by what ever I do, and if we could all do this, then the world would have peace.

  3. Bonnie Waite says:

    the RICH and POWERFUL CORPS are really the problem…… our government officials are slaves to them….. they control this country…….I really believe now more then ever that the real affluent …..wall street… banks…..insurance companies… HAVE DESTROYED OUR NATION….

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