Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lots to Worry About

I turned on a cable news channel a little while ago, just in time for "breaking news." The Pentagon was in lockdown after shots were fired at the Pentagon Metro Station, just outside the main entrance to the Pentagon. Beyond the fact that people may have been injured, the larger question hanging in the air concerned whether the shots signified some terrorist threat to the Pentagon. Probably not, I told myself. Yet I felt a small frisson of anxiety. This was one of those moments that could turn momentous or could mean nothing at all.

Like most Americans, I remember vividly the exact moment when I first learned a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers. My local NPR station reported that a small plane had crashed into one of the buildings. My curiosity was peaked, but nothing more. It sounded like an unfortunate accident. I never remotely imagined the way events would unfold.

The latest reports say that three people have been shot at the Metro Station. They're being rushed to area hospitals. By the time you read this, authorities will probably know more about why the incident occurred. Right now, though, there's uncertainly. In reality, that is the human condition. Everything that seems sure one minute can become doubtful the next. Even solid ground can suddenly shift under our feet, as people in Haiti and Chile know all too well.

Lots to worry about. Good for a worrier like me. Bad for a worrier like me.


  1. human condition? How about just "condition"... trees don't know when a bug or an axe person will change they're form.

  2. And why are there so MANY horrible and unexpected incidents of murder and mayhem these days, i.e., Columbine, all the children and wives and girlfriends disappearing to be found dead by a multitude of ways, all the bombs exploding in public places, all the destruction. Has it always been like this and we just didn't know it because we didn't have 24 hour a day cable news stations who find shocking stories to keep us watching? Yes there has always been horror stories, Lizzie Borden, the Lindberg Baby, Bonnie and Clyde, but nothing like now. I once read of a study of rats--when living conditions become too overcrowded the rats go crazy, eat their own babies, etc...Malthus warned us. bonnie