Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Balance in Life

In the previous post I quoted recent news stories about educators and police agencies who seem to have lost their balance when it comes to "safety". Americans are worried about the Federal Government spying on citizens but this is unhealthy fear.

The stories about police and school intrusions and over reactions indicate another problem in American life. The lack of emotional balance. After the terrible crimes at Columbine investigators indicated that officials failed to act quickly enough on signs and symptoms of the murderers to prevent the killings. However, now many agencies and school officials are over-reacting to the slightest evidence.

Such an over reaction indicates what we call "Societal Regression". Such a regression occurs when society at large seems to lose its balance and ability to calmly respond to events that might be dangerous. There is an automatic REACTION of anxiety that is actually worse than the original "threat". Before Columbine the police REACTIVELY ignored clear signals of danger. Their anxiety stopped them from intervening in a serious threat.

After Columbine the OVER REACTION was and is just as great. Police anxiety is still present but in the opposite direction. Now officials REACTIVELY INTERVENE in clearly non-dangerous activities. These REACTIVE INTERVENTIONS make violence more likely. They look like they are "crying wolf" and produce callousness in the public over time.

Anxious and REACTIVE people are in churches, families and community organizations. Parents are especially vulnerable to regressive anxiety and become over any mild threat faced by their children. One local mother went to the school board to complain that a six year old kid had called her son a bad name and wanted the offending child punished.

OVER REACTION and OVER PROTECTION is unhealthy. Children grow best when they can learn how to take care of themselves when other kids "bully them" and all we are teaching bright kids is to have a strong distrust for leaders who are so rigidly reactive.

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