In this recent outbreak of Middle East violence, I have found myself working and living in areas under heavy bombardment.
I want to share with readers some of these experiences, personal and work related.
1) Between missiles, life goes on. People walk or run to shelters, boom, and then back to work. There is constant smsing-texting and phone calls in order to ensure that friends and family members are ok, but multi tasking via messaging is part of life in Israel in any case.
2) One’s political view deeply impacts how the present conflict is viewed. The right wing sees the conflict as an inevitable outbreak in a one hundred year old conflict; the left believes that the present government (and those before) have frittered away opportunities that may have prevented this present round of violence.
Political issues are very rarely discussed, because politics tears apart relationships, and detract from camaraderie which develops under fire.
3) A sense of perspective creeps into life. When life can end with the next hit, how important is this work related issue that I am dealing with?
4) For some, one’s internal emotional world is calmer because the enemy is exogenic. As missiles pour down on your village and work place, one does not really need more noise than what rains down.
5) Schedules constantly changes.Work gets cancelled, rescheduled and decisions get “pushed out” till “this is all over”. Yet this does not phase anyone.
6) There is an amazing defense mechanism: “nothing will happen to me”. Even more anxious people (like myself) adapt this defense mechanism and, it really works well. Apparently, the more serious the threat is, the easier it is to be positive.
And a word of thanks to the many people who have asked me how I am doing.
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