Episode Number 32 - 01.14.11

Tragedy in Tucson. What Now?

It’s hard to imagine what it must have been like at that SafeWay in Tucson last Saturday. 19 people were shot, 6 fatally.  How do we deal with the thoughts and emotions after such a horrific event.  How will you feel the next time an opportunity arises to attend a public gathering, or even go to the grocery store?  Will fear rule and ruin our emotional health?  Dr. Paul Nussbaum joins us today to discuss our responses to this, and other traumatic events.

6 Responses to “Tragedy in Tucson. What Now?”

  1. Dick Seitz January 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    For me, this episode missed the boat. It is out of line with the other episodes dealing with useful retirement issues. I’ve not spoken with any friend or neighbor who has expressed any of the touchy-feely emotions referenced in this episode; nor have they mentioned any issues with their children or grand children. What has been expressed is anger at the easy availability of weapons, at the press for trying to blame Palin, and at parents who seem to no longer consider discipline a factor in raising children. Parents should discuss this with their children if needed, but having group sessions at school or looking for a leader to tell us how we should feel and react to this, give me a break! As a retired person, trust me when I tell you, my emotional reaction to the tragedy is not going to change how I proceed in retirement.

    • Doug January 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

      Dick, I appreciate your comment. I also appreciate that your reaction differs from mine. That’s reality, isn’t it? People react differently to tragedy. The fact is that unprocessed emotions can have long-term scarring effects on decision making, relationships, and brain health. That seems useful whether you’re 40 or 80 … which is the broad age-range of the 2nd Half Lounge community. Over our lifetimes, retired or not, understanding emotional reactions helps when similar situations or tragedies arise.

      Some need help processing emotions, others don’t. Kids DO need help, whether from a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, coach, minister, etc. At home or school, I’d rather be proactive in talking about events like Tucson, as opposed to deciding whether or not it was needed. We may just simply disagree on that point.

      We may also differ in our view on leadership. Leaders shape the reactions of those they lead. Great leaders influence us on personal, local, state, national, even global levels. In business and ministry, I’ve coached my organizations’ reactions. In sports, coaches manage their team’s emotions. I’m sure you do it in your family, as I do in mine. I don’t always agree with the chosen direction or tone, but I value the input and influence of great leaders.

      Sorry this post wasn’t helpful for you, but I do appreciate your opinion. Tucson may not have had an impact on you or your retirement, but I know others may need and welcome some help.

      • Melissa Stahl January 18, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

        I appreciated you giving people a chance to talk about this. I don’t think that retirement is only about money. It is about the world around us, our community, our families and how we fit into this new phase in our lives. The fact is that these terrible things happen and we as a society have to find the best way to deal with it and hopefully move forward with answers that will help heal and make a positive difference. How can this not have an impact on every single person? How do we teach our children how to fathom that a nine year old died at at a supermarket on a Saturday morning for no reason? It is starting to feel that sadly, that could happen anywhere in this country. I am not of retirement age but look to the people in my life that are, hoping that they may have some perspective on where to go from here.

        • Doug January 18, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

          Hi Melissa … Thanks for your note. I don’t know that I’ve got the exact right words to tell a child, but I think we’re wise to engage them. You’re right in that it can happen anywhere. There are people with evil intentions everywhere. There are disturbed people everywhere. When they are able to understand, they have to come to grips with the fact that not everyone is safe, and know that we will do everything we can to protect them. But, also teaching them to truly love and accept their peers will help … and those simple gestures might help a prevent another kid from heading down the wrong path.

  2. Ruth January 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    Doug, I didn’t have the chance to listen to this broadcast until this morning and I definitely want to ‘voice’ my opinion. Dr. Nussbaum mentioned that he is an optimistic person and feels it is important to stay that way. I couldn’t agree more with that statement. People handle this kind of tragedy differently (in my opinion) because of their varied underlying general attitude and formed opinions.

    This is why I believe it is important…VERY important to make the time to get children and young adults to talk about this because they are still forming (in varied degrees) their beliefs and their foothold in society.

    They are often exposed to violent movies where aggression like this is almost acceptable and even ‘cool’. It is very important to talk about the differences between these movies and the reality that took place in Tucson. I believe it is important to keep this conversation on a positive note. We will recover, this is not who we as Americans are.

    Anyway, thank you for this vehicle that allows us to talk about our different opinion. As always, the discussion is caffeinated.

    • Doug January 16, 2011 at 11:48 pm #

      Thanks for your note, Ruth. Every time something tragic happens, it shocks us. It wakes us up to things like violence, and talking with our kids or grandkids, and looking out for each other. Like Dr. Nussbaum, I’m so inspired by the people who acted so heroically. And I hope and pray we do whatever is necessary to head off future tragedies before they happen.

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