Attempted Bombings

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

I wish I could say I was surprised about the attempted bombings and/or suspicious packages today that were sent to political figures in the US.

It sounds brazen to say I was not surprised.  It might sound callous.  It’s not intended as either.

We were always going to see an escalation, and there may well be more to come.

Terrorism is typically meant to cause fear.  To get you to hide.  To cause disruption.  To cause action.  To cause inaction, or paralysis.  To get people to be quiet.  To get you not to vote.  To get leaders to step down.

We don’t yet know all of the motivations.  There will be no shortage of people offering their opinions in the hours and days to come.  With the political nature of the targets, the would-be bombers are likely US citizens.  A domestic threat.  Home-grown.  Someone’s neighbor.  That can make it even more unsettling.

I could talk for hours about security and response and terrorism.  Or you could turn on your TV and hear it from any pundit or from a string of security professionals that will appear in the days to come.  I’ll save it.

I will say this though.  Whoever did this may have exhibited quite a bit of stupidity.  They say that those who don’t know history are bound to repeat it.  You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that the office mail for any federal political figure still in office is heavily monitored, and most certainly the mail for ex-presidents and their wives.

Stupid criminals are not necessarily more dangerous, but perhaps less effective.  Unless the goal was the media frenzy that we now see.  If the goal was fear and attention and not actual detonation, then this was quite effective.  Fear spreads.  Media amplifies.  Either way, this is the place we are in.

Know this.

You can keep your humanity.

You can be aware of your fear.  Awareness of fear itself is powerful.

Is anyone being bombed where you are, right now this minute?  It may sound like an absurd question, but it’s a good one.  What is your environment like?  Can you do anything right now to make yourself feel more resilient, or prepared, or secure?  Take some time to do any of those things.

We are living in a country with an incredible security apparatus.  Thousands of law enforcement officers and investigators are available to work on exactly these kinds of things.  If this intensifies, they will be on it.  In the post-9/11 environment, we have extensive and well-coordinated security mechanisms.

That being said, we can’t ever find 100% security.  It’s an illusion, and we would bankrupt ourselves trying.  There will always be risk, and meanness, and crazy people, and bombers.  Sometimes worse.  Bad stuff is going to happen.

You can find a way through it with connection and community.  You can build resilience.  Your family and friends can too.  Your office.  Where you live.  Resilience helps us handle tough stuff, and bounce back after the unexpected.  When you get ready for one god-awful thing, you are often prepared for others.

If you are scared, start with breathing.  Take some time and just breathe.

We have things we can do.  Talk to your people.  Find some new ones if you need to.  Check out the counterfear tools here to help, or the whole toolbox.

We’re all in this together.  We find a way forward together.

We vote, together, too.


This place was created in part for these kinds of moments.  You may be reading this well after this event, too.  There is coaching available to do more work on the kinds of things mentioned above.  Coaching is at inclusive pricing rates.  Consulting is also available.  There are ways to navigate this, to stay grounded, and to do some good while we're at it.

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