Thursday, January 23, 2014

to sochi or not to sochi

This week I've been tuned in to the coverage of the so-called "black widows" in Russia.  There is a very real threat during the Russian Olympics, and many people are worried about what will happen - will terrorists strike?

This got me wondering: if I had tickets to Sochi, would I still go?  If tickets fell in my lap tomorrow... would I take them?

The answer is "yes", I would go, I'd wear red, white, and blue, and I'd cheer for the Americans competing.  Would I be more subdued, more cautious?  Would I look over my shoulder?  Probably.

The threat of terrorism exists anytime, anywhere.  I take public transportation every day, I live in a hugely (and densely) populated city, and I live and work in high rise buildings.  The terrorism threat is not new; it's been in our lives and on our radar since September 11th at least, and probably earlier.

The reason that this instance scares us is because of how real the threat is - and how catastrophic it could be.  Right now we can live in a safe land of denial, believing - not wrongly - that our lives are reasonably safe, and that other threats are more imminent.  The situation in Sochi seems ripe for terrorists - people from all over the world, patriotic pride, lots of people in small areas, worldwide media coverage.

But I (think) I'd still go.  Not going means the terrorists have already won.  It means that they have defeated us without having to lift a finger.

Being cautious is just good sense, but missing out on life because of fear is not something I ever want to do.

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