Dangers of the Embattled Mind

Gray_Pipe storage_2012-08-26

2016-04-12 – How do you feel when you are attacked? Do you put up your dukes? Do you run? Do you do a cost-benefit analysis?

Chances are you fight or flee. Not much chance that you do a cost-benefit analysis.

Fight or flight are hard-wired emergency strategies designed to save your ass when there’s no time to think. But what happens when an emergency persists—maybe for years? Is it really a good idea to keep your brain disengaged for all that time?

Probably not.

This has the greatest impact on the fight strategy. For obvious reasons, if you fled, you’ve either been caught and destroyed or you’re out of harm’s way. But if you stood your ground, you could be standing your ground for years, even decades. With you brain out of the loop.

That’s why the United States has a larger defense budget than the next umpteen countries combined. That’s why North Korea has nuclear weapons even though nuclear weapons are wildly unrelated to any threat they are under. That’s why Trump wants to build a wall. That’s why Israel became more bellicose after it defeated most of its foes. That why the Republican Party does anything.

Time to hit the reset button.

But there isn’t a reset button. Other than courage.

* * *

If I Only Had the Nerve
(from The Wizard of Oz– Harold Arlen (music) and E.Y. Harburg (lyrics))

Life is sad, believe me, missy,
When you’re born to be a sissy
Without the vim and verve,

But I could change my habits,
Never more be scared of rabbits,
If I only had the nerve.

I’m afraid there’s no denyin’,
I’m just a dandy-lion,
A fate I don’t deserve,

But I could show my prowess,
Be a lion, not a mowess,
If I only had the nerve.

Oh I’d be in my stride,
A king down to the core.
Oh, I roar the way I never roared before,
And then I’d rrwuff
And roar some more.

I would show the dinosaurus,
Who’s king around the fores’
A king they’d better serve.

Why with my regal beezer,
I could be another Caesar,
If I only had the nerve.

 

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