Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What Better Day

To remember we usually get risk wrong...

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As a society - perhaps 21st century Americans especially - we’re strongly inclined to get risk wrong. We worry about different things for different reasons, depending on our temperamentsWe worry about rare events we cannot control and ignore mundane hazards we can avoid.  As individuals - especially those of us in the resilience trade - we need to resist all the cognitive short cuts that make that possible.  I am reminded of a funny and challenging 2008 Op-Ed by Lenore Skenazy, the silly media firestorm that followed, and her refreshingly sensible blog.

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Mourn The Past Or Prepare For The Future?

I much prefer the company of those who dedicate themselves to prepare for the future... 

The 11th Annual Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance has arrived.  The flag is lowered, we bow our heads, and are inclined to look back to mourn the past.  Arnold Bogis, a writer at the excellent Homeland Security Watch blog, recommends rather that we honor our heroes by training new ones.  I agree with him.  

As the most social of all primates, humans will follow the group, for good and for ill.  The herd, the troop, the tribe will choose compassion or cruelty.  Leadership creates the direction.  The able response mounted by emergency services at the Boston Marathon modeled appropriate action and made it easy for witnesses to become rescuers.  Like most all animals, we have three responses to threat: flight,fight, or freeze.  As individuals we do not rise to the occasion, we default to our level of training.  Effective training and frequent drill can create the difference between evacuation or rout, resistance or riot, a moment of evaluation or mindless panic.  As leaders we instill in our team members, communities, and families the habits they present to the world and the reflexes they will apply under stress.  Whether we model habits mindfully or carelessly is up to each of us, every day.