Recent shootings in Connecticut, and Clackamas have again stoke the fires of the fear engine. As the abject horror begins to wear down, first come the unnamed pundits, posting here and there about how "if only everyone was armed, this could have been averted". Then the official pundits will come rolling out. On the other hand, you'll get the "if only we had stronger gun laws" pundits. Both of these, are aspects of the fear engine. The Fear Engine, isn't conspiracy, or deliberate social engineering, it's an unfortunate result of a hyper-connected existence. There are those that capitalize on the Fear Engine's output, for their own profit and control. Yet they did not create it.
Are you providing fuel for the Fear Engine? Do you view people more suspiciously, after events such as these? Do you pull back from social interaction? Does it color your spending habits?(projectile weapons sales are way up this week).
Do you reside in fear? It's been known for some time, that different people, react to stress in different ways. In essence, stress can push you one, of two ways: Fear, and Hope. Here's a few examples of different ways to address social stresses
Random violence: Fear- increase security, arming oneself, avoiding potential social situations, Hope- Community building, sharing knowledge and increasing social awareness
Financial insecurity: Fear- hoarding assets that are only of financial value (gold, etc), stockpiling (hoarding)products and such. Hope- Learning new skills, sharing skills, building relationships, and social structures, starting a business
Food insecurity: Fear- hoarding food, land, or stockpiling. Hope- participating in community gardening, learning farming, hunting techniques and building sharing techniques
Concerns about government: Fear- arming, hiding, being suspicious of neighbors. Hope- Attending government meetings, participating in elections, discussions, or even running for office to alter the paradigm
These are merely a few examples. When you find yourself in a stressed circumstance, how do you react? Are you fuel for the Fear Engine?