Yesterday morning as I was getting ready for church I heard the news of another terror attack in London. On the heels of that report was the panicky stampede at a soccer game in Italy resulting in over 1,000 people being injured. According to the news report no one knows the exact cause of the Italian stampede. There is speculation that people panicked when they heard a loud noise thinking it was an explosion.
In listening to all the terror attacks (and they should be called terror because they are terrifying to the individuals regardless who is initiating them), I was reminded of the British saying "Keep Calm and Carry On."
I knew that the slogan was from WWII but I didn't know its origin. In 1939 the British government formed a Ministry of Information to provide publicity and propaganda to the British people. The MOI came up with a couple of slogans: "Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution will Bring Us Victory" and "Freedom is in Peril" . Those posters were hung on public transport, shop windows and notice boards. The final poster, "Keep Calm and Carry On" was to be used if Germany invaded the land. It was never used. It was believed that all the published but never used posters were destroyed. A second hand book shop found one hidden among some old books they had bought at auction. A small portion of others were also found. The slogan may have been from over seventy years ago but the sentiment is still needed. Click here to read more.
I think world wide we need to hang that poster on public transport and around our cities. It is understandable to panic and be anxious about large public gatherings and foreign travel but panic and anxiety can ensue even close to home. The spread of suspicion, mistrust and paranoia is exactly what those who want to reek terror want to do. In fact, as in the case of Italy, they didn't have to do anything- just let people's own imagination and instinct do the dirty work.
What about you? Do you find that you are anxious and panicky? Do you look at others with suspicion? Does the climate in the world and nation have you rethinking your plans?
And how are you, not only in the global sense, but also with your individual plans? Are you feeling panicky and anxious about your current situation? Do you feel that you stampeding forward with poor decisions or caught up with other's jumpy conclusions? ER doctors and others in true crisis management excluded, when we feel rushed we very rarely make good judgement calls.
What can you do to keep calm and carry on? Is it to find more margin in your life? Do you have to say no to people and situations? Do you need to avoid those people who cause stress in your life? (at least for the time being)
While I think we need to be wise and prudent about out travel and to be aware of our surroundings and how we conduct ourselves, I think we cannot let those who want to strike terror into our lives succeed. I also think that we can be wise in our personal lives. In some seasons of life we cannot avoid stressful and anxiety producing situations, but we do have a choice. We can keep calm and carry on.