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The Telegram
  • Get a Life: In wake of Newtown, let’s look hard at our value systems

  • Reading about a course for teachers on how to carry concealed weapons made columnist Loretta LaRoche cringe. She says everyone needs to be focused on making the world one in which we feel safe, calm and peaceful. She also says that can’t happen unless we are at peace with ourselves.

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  • I just read an article last week in USA Today about a crash course being taught for teachers on how to carry concealed weapons in their classrooms. I couldn’t help but cringe when I read what could become a mandatory part of becoming a teacher.
    I realize in the wake of the horrific tragedy in Newton Connecticut that fear is driving people to come up with ways to not have more of the same.
    But truly where does it stop?
    There is talk on banning assault weapons and becoming more aware of mental health issues. This is all well and good, but I would like to see an ongoing national dialogue, like the Town Halls, that looks at our value systems.
    As a consultant in the field of stress management, I have been witness to the increased anxiety, and depression that has overtaken our culture.
    Our days are filled with work and a myriad of tasks that were once shared by family and community. Neighborhoods used to have children outdoors playing.
    Now the streets have become empty, since play has become an organized activity with prizes and competition.
    Nature deprivation syndrome is now considered a disorder prevalent amongst kids. They are either being shuffled to an activity or indoors playing a video game, many of which are about murder and mayhem.
    There have been many studies as to whether the brain is compromised by video games with violent content. Neuroscientists have agreed to some degree that feelings of aggression can increase.
    I know for a fact that when we watch movies filled with car chases, murder and mayhem, our body/mind exudes chemistry to create a fight or flight mode, since it responds whether it is real or imagined.
    Conversely the same thing happens when we witness something sad, or funny.
    In addition our lives today are a constant flurry of activity which never allow the brain to rest and renew itself. We were not meant to live in an isolated world of faux communication where face to face conversation is fast becoming a thing of the past.
    If we forget how to be with each other we are living in a world of self absorption where our needs become paramount. What follows is disrespect and incivility which has been deteriorating for years.
    There are many individuals who do not fit this picture, but we are losing ground.
    Each and every one of us needs to start paying attention to being invested in making the world one in which we feel safe, calm and peaceful and that will only happen when we are at peace with ourselves.
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