By now you’ve probably heard of the tragic shooting which happened during opening night of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises. It was a horrific event.
12 people are dead. 58 are left injured. An untold number left fearful.
After the shooting, there were reports of movie goers who were scared to go to the movie and mayors who were going to step up theater security.
People were scared.
A similar event was the Columbine shootings in 1999. It left many people uneasy about school and their children.
The shooting left me scared as well.
Were other students going to come and shoot up a school? Were students safe? When will it happen again?
We were left fearful.
And for what? There were no further shootings. Not with the Batman shooting or with the Columbine shooting.
They were one off incidents.
How often do we let these types of events dictate our live?
Too often would be my answer.
We let an anomaly or two completely distort our view of reality. Changing our routines and destroying our peace of mind.
When it shouldn’t.
Instead, we need to process the information we’re given and make our best judgement. I doubt fear and worry is the rational conclusion you’ll come to if you think through the situation.
Here’s a situation I ran into shortly after hearing the news of the shooting -
I’m driving back from my lunch hour. On the road there’s an accident. One car was pretty damaged.
Now, if I apply the logic we use for the anomalies like the Columbine or Batman shooting, I would have to say “It’s dangerous to drive. Accidents are happening all the time. I better not drive.”
Or I could process the accident with the information I have from life experiences and my thought would be “I’ve driven for quite a few years. There’s been very few accidents that I’ve been a part of. I’ll continue driving and not live in fear.”
There will be situations in our lives that will be tragic. They’ll stand out. And we’ll come face to face with fear.
We’ll be faced with the decision of whether or not to let the fear cripple you. The choice is up to you.
Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Question: How have you let a single incident affect the rest of your life? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.