Second-Hand Shock

Bin Laden a Has-Been in a Culture of Trauma

I found it very interesting that President Obama opened his speech last evening, announcing the killing of Osama bin Laden, by giving us a detailed recap of the overwhelming terrorist attack on the United States on 9/11/2001. How many of us were vicariously brought right back to that traumatic day that changed our lives forever? Our Second-Hand Shock, re-triggered by the President’s speech, helps us to embrace the death of Bin Laden as necessary justice for the horror we experienced on that fateful day.

We first remember to honor our heroes who worked diligently and risked their lives to bring terrorism to atonement. Their sacrifice to uphold righteousness and integrity is held in the highest regard. We honor them for protecting us and the freedoms we hold so dear.

I am certain there is intrinsic value in remembering the trauma of September 11th and as well,  there is some form of healing closure by virtue of “justice” being done. Unfortunately, within minutes of the announcement, there springs up warnings of a new generation of terrorist leaders rising in Bin Laden’s wake with threats of repercussion and more terror to follow. How sad it is that we, as a culture, are given practically no time at all to heal from the Second-Hand Shock we have been harboring for ten years. The “media-in an-instant” is already onto the next chapter in trauma by focusing on new scary things to come.

Let’s take some time off from the trauma culture in which we live and solemnly respect the losses we have incurred, the pain we have experienced and the heroes who have either risked or sacrificed their lives for us. Have we become desensitized to the internal torment that has become part of our daily experience because of threatening circumstances like terrorism? Let’s lead by setting a global example for peace by focusing for a few minutes in silence, stillness, and introspection.

Justice may have been done and we may have fought the good fight; but according to the news, Bin Laden is already a has-been and we will need to brace ourselves for whatever comes next. It looks like our heroes will have to gear up for the next challenge. In the meantime, let’s all come down from our own Second-Hand Shock and take a few relaxing breaths to calm our minds and protect our inner well-being.

3 thoughts on “Bin Laden a Has-Been in a Culture of Trauma

  1. Not only were WE brought right back into the shock and trauma of 9/11, but a whole NEW generation was exposed to the trauma! My eldest daughter was only three on 9/11/2001, and while she has since learned what happened, she didn’t EXPERIENCE the trauma of it all. Now, with every station on TV, radio, and the internet recapping 9/11 blow-by-blow, she is visibly disturbed by the trauma, and is now experiencing it for herself. I hate this for her! I wish we (the media!) could use this moment in time as an END POINT to the trauma and as a beginning to HEALING!

    • Beautifully articulated Kim. Thank you for that valuable insight regarding generational trauma, which is its own dimension in our trauma culture. I pray for all our children to feel safe in their world.

  2. Pingback: Tot, Lügen, Videotape: Osama-bin-Laden-Desinformation und mediale Unsterblichkeit |

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