Footage from an air raid shows Israelis’ mental health

My friend sent me a terrifying video clip showing kids coming home from school last Friday, May 12, 2023. The children waiting at a bus stop near the Israeli town of Beit Shemesh heard the “Color Red” sirens and knew they had to take cover. Then a large bus stopped and disgorged even more children. About ninety percent moved into and around the bus shelter, hoping it would be strong enough to protect them, but this shelter was open on the street side, meaning the force of any explosion there would have been multiplied many times, and the children would have been shredded.

The proper military-grade response would have been for the children to spread out over the widest possible area, dig holes in the sand, and keep their heads down. Of course, children in the eight to fourteen range have no survival training and know nothing about the physics of explosive forces.

Then I realized what I was looking at was amazing and unusual. Instead of running in all directions, these children came together. I believe they were able to come together in the shelter because they could permit themselves to physically touch each other without fear.

In their panic, the children had regressed to their early childhood, where touching by parents and siblings was the norm. In contrast, I am strongly inclined to believe that among modern American children, who often grow up with screens as their closest companions, the need for an emergency response would have led mainly to dispersing, not huddling. All that is necessary to confirm this theory is a bit more evidence. However, such research is not likely to acquire NIH support.

The fundamental nature of a society where children naturally bunch together rather than disperse in a crisis is enormous. When children do not huddle, they have the primitive fundamental impression that they will receive no benefit or comfort from touching each other; that, in turn, implies a deep loneliness in them. Children who can engage in bunching have an empathetic awareness of others that will almost certainly grow up to be adults given to committing altruistic acts. Here is an example of huddling brought forward a whole generation:

The real-life examples depicted above are the results of constant and consistent early non-sexualized affection in Israeli culture. The presence or absence of that type of affection speaks to the future success (or failure) of any and all societies. There is no reason for people to feel affection for one another, just as there is no reason for individuals and societies to conclude that life is meaningless.

These responses are baked into our personalities in a most complex fashion, through our earliest relationships with mother and father, through happenstance occurrences in our lives, through observations of others’ behaviors, and even through epigenetic patterns passed on to us by our parents’ experiences before we were born.

These constant and forever interchanges between generations must be factored into any commitments we are asked to make whenever we listen to someone’s ideas. I am certain as I can be of anything that Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum was negatively affected by his abandonment by his mother and his being raised by a German (or Swiss) stepmother. His ideas do not stand independently from his early experiences. I am sorry to report that it’s true that it is usually mom’s (and dad’s) fault, even if only partially, if someone turns out poorly.

I am also loathe to inform the readers that we have known all this from Biblical times. The famous imprecation that sinners would be punished until the third or fourth generation never made sense to me until I placed it in a developmental context. The warping of the nasty person is passed to his/her children until someone finally says, “Enough is enough. I will not visit my imperfect emotional inheritance on my children.”

We rise and fall on the basis of the quality of our early experiences. These observations do not simplify life; they make evaluating it much more complicated. Nonetheless, that’s the way things are.

Image from Rumble.

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