The unrelenting horror of current events – with a big country inflicting enormous suffering on its innocent neighbours – has had a remarkable effect on people. Some are moved to do something, actively. In others, it has triggered a desire to hide one’s face, cover one’s eyes, put head in one’s hands…there are any number of idioms to express feelings of sadness and shame. Many are silently screaming: Stop the world and let me off.
Can one? Should one?
Probably not. I suppose someone could go crazy with grief or disappointment over the state of the world and become a Unabomber-like character. Remember him?
But there are other ways to deal with intense grief, not least feeling what one feels and doing what one does. Emotion and action, behavioural psychologists say, was the way our ancestors survived on the Savannah Plains 200,000 years ago.
We’ll examine all of this over the next couple of days.
Tomorrow: The world is too much with us. How not to deal with it