Living in a World of Fear

Terrorist attacks, threats of war, Code Orange. In this post-Sept. 11 society, people seem to be obsessed with only one thing: fear. Be it because of fear of the unknown or fear of the inevitable, today’s society is fixated on how to prepare for the unpreparable, and this has extended onto the college campus. With news coming out that terrorist attacks could happen on college campuses, FBI agents are snooping around and students are beginning to live as if colleges will be likely targets for violent attacks. To combat this threat, an e-mail sent was sent to everyone here at UVM letting everyone know that if something happens, UVM will be ready. While this recent information that we are prepared could be seen as comforting, it only adds fuel to the fire that is fear spreading across America. But ready for what? Bombings, anthrax? As Americans, we tune in every night to see more warnings, concerns and messages that we should be waiting for anything and everything. Terror seems to be lurking in every corner. After Sept. 11, our government told us to not live in fear but to move on with our lives. We seem to have forgotten that as people buy guns at Wal-Mart along with enough creamed corn for a year and generators to prepare for their bunkers’ darkness and cold temperatures. To live in fear of this unknown forever is ridiculous. To watch your blood pressure rise as Homeland Security raises the terror alert from goldenrod to maroon is unnecessary. It is true that we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow and it is true that we do live in a v Yes, we aren’t the world’s favorite people, and it would be naive to think that the world is as safe as your bed on a cold winter’s night. But honestly, we are in more danger of being hit by a wily car while running across Main Street than we are to be attacked by biological weapons, ever. It’s our duty as Americans to be aware of foreign policy and what’s going on with our world. But there is no need to be in a panic all the time, fearing the person sitting next to you on the train, the person with a different skin tone. As of now, probably as of always, there is no need to sleep with a gun under the pillow and a canteen by the bed . Now these measures might seem extreme and hypothetical, but they aren’t out of the ordinary. Our country is living in fear, constantly stressed with the ideas of its loved ones being hurt. These fears have spread to the collegiate level and that is ridiculous. We are not living in Israel, Korea or Iraq, just some of the places in which death and terror are part of people’s daily lives. We are not living in Africa and Southeast Asia, where people live in fear that their husbands/wives/children will die soon of AIDS. We, as a society, should be grateful for the lack of true fear in our daily lives. There is no need to instill this fear into our lives by watching CNN all the time, FOX specials on how to prepare your home for the apocalypse or now, even by reading our e-mails telling us about the system to help us in case UVM shuts down. It is understood that this information is needed in case the worse thing happens, but don’t let it rule your lives. We’ll all die one day, so while living in a dream world is bad, don’t live a nightmare, either. Enjoy life-it’s the only one we have.