I’m publishing this series of articles to share and discuss my ruminations on coping with a troubled and messy world. Please “follow” me to never miss an article.
Looking back on my previous blogs, I’d like to take stock and thus to reflect on the major themes about which I’ve written.
First of all, out of all the blogs I’ve written, the ones that have produced the most responses are: 1. the case of the 10-year-old child who was raped and thus had to travel to another State to get an Abortion, and 2. my oft expressed feeling that I don’t want to have anything more to do with Red States because of their intense opposition to Abortion and senseless support of Guns. In the case of the young girl who was raped, there was almost near universal support for the position that she was neither Mentally nor Physically fit to carry a baby to full term, and thus having an Abortion was more than justified. In the case of my not wanting anything to do with Red States, the picture was mixed. It produced both strong support as well as intense opposition. I understand the feeling that I’m tarnishing the many good people who live in Red States. That was not my intent. But I don’t see any alternative since we’re divided in every which way. To our great peril, the Middle Ground has all but vanished.
Looking back, the general themes on which I’ve written are as follows: The Precarious State of Reason; Covid 19 and its Multitudinous Effects on the Economy, Mental Health, Schools, etc.; the Dreadful State of the Republican Party; Political Divisiveness and Polarization Like I’ve Never Seen; the Disastrous Role of Social Media in Spreading Dis and Misinformation; and of course, the Great Divide Between States Over Abortions, Guns, and Onerous Requirements for Voting; the Glaring Inability to Take Decisive Action in Preventing Mass Shootings, especially given the fact that they’ve become a near daily occurrence.
The differences on the aforementioned issues are due to a constellation of factors. Basic Values are of course a major component. Thus, the regard in which one holds Science and Reputable Authorities is a significant element. But Feelings regarding Threats real and imagined also play a major role, the point being that the differences between us are not due entirely Conscious, let alone due to Rational Thought. More than we’re willing to admit, we’re governed by Fears of all stripes. No wonder why it’s so difficult to have reasonable conversations about differing Customs, Values, and Ways of Life. Mutual Respect and have taken a big hit.
Given all this, no wonder why the label of Dr Gloom and Doom fits me so well. Nonetheless, I am not entirely without Hope. I believe fervently that young people will take the lead in promoting a more peaceful and just world. They have to.
In sum, one cannot live by Gloom and Doom alone. It’s not healthy for Body, Mind, and Spirit.
Ian I. Mitroff is credited as being one of the principal founders of the modern field of Crisis Management. He has a BS, MS, and a PhD in Engineering and the Philosophy of Social Systems Science from UC Berkeley. He Is Professor Emeritus from the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School of Communication at USC. Currently, he is a Senior Research Affiliate in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, UC Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Management. He has published 41 books. His latest is: The Socially Responsible Organization: Lessons from Covid, Springer, New York, 2022.
Photo by Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash