When Bad Things Happen To Good People

When bad things happen to good people

When injustice and adversity strike good people, the world around them loses its poetry and life its logic. However, good people never lose hope: even if evil sinks them, goodness elevates them; it will be this golden rope that binds them to everyone that will bring them up, sooner or later, making them even stronger and more courageous.

They say that one of the main weapons of terrorism, in addition to reaping victims and generating chaos, is instilling great psychological fear in the population. This fear not only gives them importance, but also gives them power over their victims; the certainty that the invisible threads of terror will alter their way of life and will leave uncovered the need that every person feels in everyday life: to feel safe.

In the last few months alone, many people have  experienced this feeling, after the numerous terrorist attacks that have occurred. Once again we must regret the many human losses, beautiful lives of good people, very young children, parents, grandparents, friends and citizens of at least 18 different nationalities who enjoyed an afternoon like any other in any street in one of the beautiful capitals that beautify our world.

The wickedness has visited us once again, and even if it is not a new or isolated event, even if there are dozens of people who die every day in the same circumstances in different corners of our planet, there is one aspect that escapes ours. check. How should we react in these cases? Psychologists expert in the field of terrorism, such as Jeff Greenberg, Sheldon Solomon and Tom Pyszczynski, warn us that these events change us in a very particular way

Good people unite in the face of difficulties

These days social networks are filling up with photos of cats. Most Twitter users have joined together with a specific purpose: to prevent the dissemination of images of the victims and stop the possible filtering of information that could be useful for the terrorists. Apart from a few isolated cases, people are getting involved, giving shape to an exceptional act of civilization visible even on the street: the residents of Barcelona, ​​hit by a terrorist attack just a month ago, have offered accommodation to those in need, the transportation was free and the shops did everything they could to cooperate.

It is in these situations that we realize how, despite chaos, tragedy and horror, acts of altruism restore our dignity. It is these gestures that, even in these moments of despair, show us that our world is inhabited above all by good people. Experts also confirm this, such as the one already mentioned. Dr. Jeff Greenberg, a psychologist at the University of Arizona, who tells us that after a terrorist act of this nature, people put in place cultural mechanisms of subsistence.

A few moments make us feel fragile and vulnerable victims of these events. Nothing is as devastating as discovering that our sense of security is, in fact, false and that terrorism is indiscriminate and unpredictable. Tomorrow is there ahead, unknown, and this gives us goosebumps.

However, in these contexts, instead of being fed by anger or a desire for revenge, an extraordinary thing happens among the population. It increases the sense of community and above all seeks to rebuild that stability that goes beyond the simple fact of erecting a demolished building or a destroyed road.

Above all, we are required to be able to regain emotional stability and trust in who we are and in the society around us. A company that continues to believe in peace and respect. People who, despite having been hit by the most ferocious evil, still need to have faith in the goodness of the human being.

Learn to minimize and maximize our responses to terrorism

Psychologists and psychiatrists specializing in the psychology of terrorism emphasize that in these situations it is necessary to put into practice two different responses. Two behaviors that in the long term will allow us to adequately face these contexts, which increasingly occur near us.

Let’s see them below.

We try to minimize …

We must try to minimize exposure to attack images, but not information. Even if most of the media try to control access to the grimest images of these massacres, sooner or later we will receive a document or a detail that can have a great emotional impact on us. Consequently, we avoid these situations and collaborate, for example, by sharing images of cats so that social networks impose this filtering on themselves.

It is equally necessary to minimize hateful thoughts.


We try to maximize …

  • We try to maximize acts of support and selflessness.
  • We try to increase our contributions, both through social networks with support messages and in person by providing help (such as accommodation, donating blood…).
  • We try to maximize, in essence, our contribution to all that is positive in these contexts, trying to avoid attitudes of victimization and fostering an authentic sense of support, solidarity and a sense of community.

In conclusion, as we have sadly seen more than once, bad things also happen to good people. However, the only difference with those who only understand violence as a form of communication and oppression is that kindness does not give up or even fails. We will stand up to defend our values ​​as always and peace will undoubtedly be our finest flag.

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