After a large-scale terrorist attack it is natural for the whole world to be thrown into a whirlpool of confusion and fear. For many, this fear translates into the fear of traveling.
For millennials, this can be especially terrifying because they feel like they have so much of life left to live. They could be in college or just in the first bloom of their careers, and they are not ready to risk their lives for the happiness they are getting now. Statistics show that the number of tourists does decrease after a terrorist attack.
Only the fearless or foolish will be willing to embark on international adventures after a terrorist attack … right? In fact, such fear is unwarranted. Here are 5 reasons why millennials should still travel despite terrorist attacks:
1. Terrorists Want You To Fear
The purpose of terrorism is to inspire fear. For them, the immediate victims are mere instruments for them to communicate their message aimed at a wider target audience. Hence, right now if you find yourself the slightest bit hesitant to travel out of fear of a terrorist attack, you are helping them achieve their aim. The best way to fight it, is to carry on living the way we always did, traveling the way we always did.
2. Responsibility to Fight Against the New Wars
Samuel P. Huntington, a scholar in the political field predicted that the wars fought in the post-Cold War era will be religion-cultural ones instead of ideological. Our identity is found increasingly in our culture and beliefs. That is why millennials need to have a greater awareness of the different cultures so as to be better advocates for peace while living in diversity. This begins with education of these differences. The best way to do it is to travel and be in other cultures. As youth of the next generation, we better understand our world in order to be effective leaders of the future.
3. Neglect of Probability Exaggerates the Risk
The probability of you being caught in a terrorist attack before the Paris attacks and after the Paris attacks remains the same. It is only human to fear traveling, that’s because of a cognitive fallacy called neglect of probability. This occurs when we respond to the emotion of the topic rather than the actual risk of it occurring. For example, in light of the four aviation accidents that occurred in 2014, does that increase the chances of you meeting an accident on your next flight? Did you know that you’re more likely to die from a car accident or the common flu rather than a terrorist attack? It is important to separate risk from fear and put your situation in perspective. This can be applied in any area of life, not just after a terrorist attack. This triggers our fear sensor and makes us think that we are the next to be attacked.
4. Travel to Unlearn and Relearn
While it is easy to stereotype Muslims in the wake of a terrorist attack, this should not be the case. Terrorism has no religion, Islam is not a dangerous religion, Muslims are not dangerous people, there are only those that are radicalized who decide to commit these atrocious acts. Unlearn preconceived notions and relearn facts about Muslims, and travel can be one of the ways for millennials to see that. While it may be dangerous to travel to some politically unstable countries, millennials should explore the safer Arabic countries to gain better understanding of the background, culture and religion of Muslims. Through interaction and immersion in the culture one then be able to reconcile the fact that in this world we can all live in harmony and differences should be celebrated not discriminated against. This should not stop at just Muslims either, go explore and understand more about Africans, Europeans and Asians.
5. “Stuff Your Eyes With Wonder”
Who said terrorists should kill the wonder and excitement of exploring new cultures? Millennials are young and still have so much of the world left to see, so much more of God’s creation to appreciate. One of my favorite quotes comes from Ray Bradbury, “Stuff your eyes with wonder. Live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal.” It basically says it all, and it is stand for the fearless generation that we ought to be.
The best way for millennials to cope with terrorism is to live life as one had before. Terrorism is scary and while it is only human to fear, don’t let fear immobilize you. Instead let this fear be an educated fear that knows the true risks. Brave new traveler? Honestly, you’re the same traveler you were before the attacks and after the attacks.
Don’t ever let terrorism change that.
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