Showing posts from September, 2021

Fight or Flight: The False Dichotomy

 All our lives, most of us have been told that there are only two possible responses to fear stimuli: fight, or flight. You can either punch that clown, or run away. This is unmitigated bullshit. There are, in fact, five possible responses to fear stimuli: fight, flight, freeze, flop, or friend. Let's unpack these other three options a little bit: Freeze. Pretty self-explanatory, but there is an added benefit to this option: it gives you a moment to think about what to do next. The downside to freezing is that sometimes it's hard to unfreeze and move forward. But sometimes, the best thing to do is hold still with your eyes closed until the clown goes away. Flop. Just go limp, physically or mentally. Demonstrate that you aren't a threat, in the hopes that the aggressor will leave you be. The mental counterpart to the physical flop is to hold your tongue and let them think they won the argument. Flopping is a good option when the point of contention is minimal to the point of

In Response to Covid

  When someone close to you dies, it is natural and acceptable to grieve, for as long as you need to. However, that personal grief does little to prepare us for grief on a grand scale, for now we grieve the deaths of millions of faceless strangers around the world. And grieve we must, to acknowledge the tremendous loss of life that we have been faced with. Since we started burying our dead one hundred thirty thousand years ago, mankind has had a complicated relationship with death. We fear the inevitable demise of ourselves and our loved ones, but respect that death is something everyone must face eventually. In some cases, especially when death could have easily been avoided, we rail uselessly against it, and will fight to stave it off as long as possible. When somebody we know does pass on, we memorialize them as best we know how, for as long as we can. We must honor those unknown millions who succumbed to the greatest pandemic of our time. We reflect on how many may have been sp