Wednesday, July 9, 2014

An Axiom Worthy of a Tattoo

Don’t Panic: It's an Axiom Worthy of a Tattoo

But what is panic? What’s going on when we scream at the paramedics as they try to strap us to the gurney or snipe at the Target cashier for being too slow or decide to kill our spouse for the insurance money to pay the bookies (just being theoretical here)? We are rightfully ashamed of these moments, because what’s going on is more than just a loss of critical thinking.

We’ve decided that we’re trapped, and that we might as well make everything much worse, because at least then we’re doing something.

Panic rails against what we don’t want, rather than focusing on what we do want. And it’s not always about the big stuff. We all panic every day in subtler ways: We seethe with righteous rage at those other assholes. We cut people off in rush hour traffic. We tear up the bills instead of paying them.

I know, in the short run a tantrum is so much more exhilarating, which is why it’s so hard to resist. But if we take a moment to breathe, we might see a way out.