Crisis vs Peace

The opening scene of my favorite TV series is chaotic. Burning metal, screaming and crying people. It’s shock and awe at it’s finest. No warning except the brief turbulence and the engines shutting down. The airplane tears in half and crashes on a deserted island. It’s a much more traumatic scene than Gilligan’s Island. The TV series LOST dumps you with the terrified passengers of Oceanic flight 815.

One man, Jack, understands the situation and looks around. He’s cut, sore, and  just as shaken as all the rest. But his first reaction tells you who he is. Here’s a paragraph from Wikipedia.

On September 22, 2004, Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) awakens in the jungle and notices a yellow Labrador retriever darting through the bamboo forest. He runs through the jungle to a beach, where he is confronted by the carnage of the airplane crash of Oceanic Flight 815. Jack, a surgeon, darts from one survivor to the next, administering medical aid. He assists the pregnant Claire Littleton (Emilie de Ravin), enlists Hurley (Jorge Garcia) to watch her, and administers CPR to Rose Henderson (L. Scott Caldwell), saving her life.

When you’re new it’s obvious who’s in charge. Very few try to usurp authority at first. We fit in. We do our job and go home at the end of the day. But what happens when we are all equals? What makes one person, like Jack,  take charge and take care of the needs of others? What’s their thoughts at that moment? What emotion spurs them forward while others can’t think? We’d all like to think we’d be the in control, calm person asking for supplies. Truth is there is no way of knowing what you’d do until you get in that situation. An interesting thing happens after the chaos of the first scene of this movie. Everyone, well maybe not everyone, turns on Jack. When the chaos calms and the fear is forgotten people start resenting the authority. In a crisis we look to our leaders as heroes. We want the strong, authoritative person. The military is our knight in shining armor.

Until the dust settles.

It’s not that we didn’t appreciate their help. Quite the opposite. It’s the crisis versus peace dichotomy and our country is in the middle of it. In a crisis we seek authority. Then we want to get on with our lives and left alone. According to conspiracy advocates countries create crisis to control the population. I’m not a total conspiracy geek, but I can see the reasoning. What we need to do as people is to understand why we want authority and how much is enough. I don’t have the all the answers, but it is something I feel we all need to think about. Do we live in a time of crisis or a time of peace? And how will we respond to either? Authority isn’t the enemy or the hero. Sometimes we need a person to step forward and take charge, but they must also be able to graciously step down when the crisis is over.


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