Desensitization, Detachment and Virginia Tech


Desensitization, Detachment and Virginia Tech


Apr 23 2007

Written by Lynn Kindler

To all family, friends, and people affected by the horrific and sad shootings at Virginia Tech, please accept my heartfelt sympathy. I know that I am joined by many others who are keeping you in their thoughts and prayers.

With that said, I've been putting off writing about how the shootings affected me because I did not want to add to all the hype and gander that is already going on about it and because my initial reaction was NOT what I had expected to feel. Being an extremely intuitive person, I'm used to "getting" insights and a heightened sense of awareness before incidents like the one at VT occurs—often weeks before. This time not only did I not intuit anything but as the events unfolded I had no feelings about it. I'm a very caring person and since my initial non-feeling bubble, have had many insights but the initial non-feeling sensation really caught me off guard. I checked with many of my friends to find out how they reacted and found out that there were many very caring, spiritual people who had the same initial reaction as I did which was the absence of intense emotion.

After listening and reading some of the news about VT, what was revealed to me was the seemingly collective response of not wanting to fan the fire of the media. The way that many of the people from Blacksburg handled this event, showed a majority of caring and thinking people who wanted to respect the event and all its complexities without the media circus. I am inspired by the people who have been writing and communicating under the mass media radar through <a href=""></a>

At first glance, I wondered if what "we" were experiencing en-mass was desensitization towards violence. How many of us wake up to NPR in the morning with the latest recount of a suicide bomber event? But someone very close to me noted that as listened to me she could hear anger under my numbness and upon closer inspection I realized that I was angry about our ignorance of mental illness and how to handle it fairly and successfully. I was angry about gun control (a rifle I can see, an automatic weapon—why?) and last but not least watching the story unfold in the media bit by bit as every one tried to become THE source for facts about the VT shootings.

In many of my spiritual teachings I have learned that it is important to be able to detach with love. It seems that in order for me (and you) to be effective, we&#39;ve got to be able to get our personal spin out of the mix so that we can detach from the intense reaction in order to respond thoughtfully. It&#39;s about being able to feel and yet not getting run over by our feelings.

I am very hopeful about the kind of ideas and actions that will come out of this horrific event. I heard one student interviewed who responded, "What can we learn from the Amish shootings". One thing that we can do right now is to have difficult conversations such as what I&#39;m admitting to you here and be willing to talk with each other about what is really going on.

As the great Coaching guru Thomas Leonard used to say, "Be real be human".


Original Source:
<a href=""></a>

Licensed under <a href="">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5</a>.


Lynn Kindler




Brent Jesiek


Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5




Lynn Kindler, “Desensitization, Detachment and Virginia Tech,” The April 16 Archive, accessed May 19, 2024,