Naturalization of fear, school shootings, and America’s military.
A key process of growing up is learning to function in society. We learn how to live and play with others, we learn how to maintain a household, and we learn to pay taxes. We learn these skills from the media, from our teachers and tutors, we learn from our parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters. We learn from the world around us, and over time, the things we learn become naturalized in our minds. We are not in a constant state of questioning that which is natural. We do not question why we drive on a specific side of the road every time we get behind the wheel. We, hopefully, don’t question why we brush our teeth every morning and night. Kids may very well grow up never questioning their fear of school shooters.
This is not to say that we don’t have answers to these questions, were we to ask them, and in most situations we certainly do. We drive on a specific side of the road so we don’t smash into oncoming traffic. We brush our teeth to keep them clean. I need not explain why kids fear school shooters. Suffice to say that the naturalization of beliefs comes from, and brings with it, a justification for the belief’s existence.
If we accept it to be true that our understandings of the world stems from the observations we have made and the justifications we have either heard or constructed, then it must be true that the environment that houses our growth will affect what ideas, actions, or beliefs become naturalized in our world view. We can only observe and learn from that which is within our scope of experience.
The environments that we put people into will affect what they see as natural aspects of the world. Every soldier that we have sent to war has learned from that environment. Every civilian whose house was hit with a grenade learned from that experience. Every school shooting teaches our children to be afraid.