When it come to living in pain & fear, different sources offer us different kinds of relief.
The FDA just slapped some tough limits on how we may use pain relief drugs like Vicodin. By contrast, Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel BRAVE NEW WORLD has the FDA of his future prescribe daily doses of the sedative Soma. In between those two extremes, today most of us simply take great gulps of an antidote known as: Finding-someone-to-blame.
Here’s how it works!
If your basement keeps flooding, if your kids continue to get poor grades, if gangs scare the hell out of you, if terrorism and anti-Americanism panic you, all too often the first instinct is to find someone or something to blame for these traumas. That may not clarify the trauma or provide a solution. However, it has the intoxicating effect of letting you disengage from the gritty details, and instead sleep better at night knowing “now it’s up to them!”
The “them” are in order: The Mayor…the schools….the punks….the bad guys in the world who for some darned reason can’t understand we’re the good guys. I mean, every trauma in the world has to have a solution, right? And the handiest solution most of us fall back on is: “I’m a victim here, and there has to be someone in charge who can do something about it!”
What’s interesting — um maybe even hypocritical — about our victim-hood is but then so many of us “victims” resent the people-in-charge when they do intervene. The usual pejorative is: “Authorities.” Because everyone knows authorities like our Council and our schools and our cops and our Pentagon are corrupt and waste our tax money, right?
So from flooded basements here in Park Ridge, to Swat Teams in troubled neighborhoods, to Special Ops in the Middle East, there are always some righteous citizens willing to march in righteous protest over “too much force.” Yet at the very same time demand “as much force as it takes to protect victims like me.”
No one ever said operating a Democracy was easy, but it probably starts with its citizens at least giving the authorities they call upon to serve them the benefit of the doubt…
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