Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Shock Or Surprise?

Trey Smith

David Sirota, writing yesterday shortly after the alleged bombs exploded in the crowd at the Boston Marathon, expressed a sentiment I heard frequently throughout the day: The events caught him by surprise, but he was not shocked. The feeling here is that, due to the frequency of horrific events, the shock value has worn off.

This may be nothing more than semantics, but I view the situation the other way around. I find this tragedy to be shocking, but not that surprising.

Yesterday most of us were going about our daily lives. When we first learned of the carnage taking place in Boston, it shocked us out of our ho-hum routine. I think any time you read or hear of people's limbs being blown off or the senseless death of a child, shock is the normal reaction. It is not unnatural at all to ask: What in the hell is going on here? Is the world completely out of control?

Once the shock subsides, the events that transpired are not surprising. While they certainly don't happen everyday, they do occur all too frequently. When you think about the various animosities in the world, the lack of attention to the mentally ill and the prevalence of violence in US society, it is becoming difficult to be surprised by these sorts of happenings.

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