The most recent earthquake in Virginia sent shock waves all the way to our house in North Carolina and once again we realized just how vulnerable we are as human beings. As we sat and watched the news, seeing all the shaken people on TV describing exactly how it happened, how they felt and how they are dealing with it affirmed the fact that we are not invisible. And as though to emphasize just how vulnerable we are as human beings, Hurricane Irene is currently getting ready to hit the East coast soon.
We make plans and create the most amazing inventions, feeling safe and secure in the hope that we have made all sorts of contingency plans to secure our safety and future. And yet, time and time again, something beyond our control will sweep into our lives and remind us that everything we think we can control is really not within our control.
Being vulnerable means that one has to come to terms with the fact that despite all precautions there will be times when things will be beyond your control. These are the times when no matter what you do, you have to sit and ride out whatever storm is currently in your life. How we deal with a sudden crisis in our lives determines our relationship with sudden uncontrollable events in our lives. According to a study on the Psychology of Crisis done by the CDC, how we handle a crisis at first and foremost based on our decision-making habits. Some may react by:
- Oversimplifying- Trying to explain away the inexplicable which diminishes the immediacy of the situation.
- Cling to Current beliefs– Especially in the communication age where experiences are mostly vicarious, people will sometimes react as though they already know the outcome and will delay their response to a crisis.
- We remember what we see or previously experience– Where obtaining information about the crisis is helpful for some so they know what to do in a crisis.
In order to deal with a sudden crisis, one has to determine what elements are within their control and which ones are not. Accepting vulnerability is evidenced in taking steps to ensure one’s safety and this could take the form of going to a safe place, boarding up your windows or simply leaving your home all together. In any case being vulnerable is perhaps our only safeguard and the impetus that might drive us to make better decisions for our well-being.
- Planning for Irene [Casaubon’s Book] (scienceblogs.com)
- Hurricane Irene weaker, but still a threat to U.S. (sfgate.com)
- Earthquake: What to Do in a Major Crisis – ABC News (news.google.com)