Author Topic: On being FIRE in the midst of a community tragedy...  (Read 2317 times)

infromsea

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On being FIRE in the midst of a community tragedy...
« on: June 03, 2019, 12:25:13 PM »
This is mostly my way of "working through things" and clarifying thoughts. I do not desire to draw attention to myself or family (and have no reason to, we are not that "close" to this) OR make this "all about me/us". I will edit soon and may even delete if it's only a distraction or in bad taste etc.

I DO want to offer yet another example of why FIRE/FI/RE whatever is so important to many of us, even if we can't put it into words... In short, life is finite and depending on your beliefs, may be a "one and done" type of situation, so, don't waste it... (I'm trying to put that into some type of "it's the economy dummy" context).

If you have not been following the news (I personally skip about 98% of it, often getting tidbits from podcasts etc. but not much else) you might be familiar with the Virginia Beach, VA shooting, a quick google search will assist if you've heard nothing about it.

My family was not touched by this event except for the usual thoughts/feelings that occur after such a thing (We didn't lose anyone close nor did we know anyone lost etc...). However, I think humans always seek reasons and attempt to connect things to ourselves, we seek out that way in which we relate to XXX or YYY (which is why those with little connection attend remembrances, write posts on message boards etc.. I understand that more fully now...).

In this case, we  are about 15 minutes from where this occurred and, our family was on the grounds three nights prior to the event, attending a school board meeting. In addition, when retiring from the military about 18 months ago, I applied for a position within the offices where this occurred. It is very likely that I interacted with some of the individuals who lost their lives during that process AND, had I accepted the offer, could have been there the day it happened.

Talking about this with the SO, it provides a stark example of why FIRE is so powerful, being able to focus on "things that matter" (To me) ensures that I'm not in a job/at a location that I don't want to be. If I HAD been in that office the day this occurred, it would have been by CHOICE, not by need, which would have made it easier for my family etc... I hope that some of those impacted were in the same boat, there because they loved the work, the team, the location etc. and were not there because they HAD to be, but I suspect some of them probably fall into that category (Must be there VS decide to be there).

Bottom line, FI is important for many reasons, but, as many others have said, the power of choice should never be forgotten. In this case, it MAY have saved my life (probability = very low, but it's not zero).

Adding a link to bios on those who were lost, seems like a small way to recognize the situation.

Regards,

Tim

https://pilotonline.com/news/local/virginia-beach-mass-shooting/article_1b533ea8-846d-11e9-a728-df38353a0516.html



Parizade

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Re: On being FIRE in the midst of a community tragedy...
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2019, 02:23:24 PM »
This is mostly my way of "working through things" and clarifying thoughts. I do not desire to draw attention to myself or family (and have no reason to, we are not that "close" to this) OR make this "all about me/us". I will edit soon and may even delete if it's only a distraction or in bad taste etc.

I hope you don't delete, I think this is an important issue that doesn't get talked about enough. You mentioned a couple of times in your post that you and your family were not "close" to the situation but honestly  these news stories can be traumatizing even if you were nowhere near the site where it happened. You WERE closer to it than most of us, it's perfectly natural for you and your family to experience a trauma reaction. Don't discount it's impact on you.

Taking Care of Yourself after a Traumatic Event

I think you are absolutely right about being able to choose where you work (or where you won't work) being important and life saving. You don't say why you didn't accept an offer of employment there, maybe you sensed something unhealthy in the environment without even realizing it.

I can't help but wonder about the shooter too, what frustrations built up in his life after years of working in this place that made him believe this was the  only way out? What if he had been exposed to FIRE principles years ago, what if he had been able to build up a 'stache and walk away from his frustrations with a smile instead of a gun? Would having a FU fund have relieved some of his stress? Would it have provided the funds for mental health treatment? Or would it not have made any difference? I suppose we'll never know.

Much Fishing to Do

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Re: On being FIRE in the midst of a community tragedy...
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2019, 11:21:06 AM »
FIRE gives choices, just as some savings/better money management give some choices.  I grew up in what I can't view as anything other than a horrible place and had a number of traumatizing events that did sculpt who I am (both good and bad qualities I have to deal with now).  This includes when I was 12 and leaving the local HS football game with a friend to head to my moms car and was beaten unconscious with lead pipes by a number of young adults.  The following Monday a number of people at school taunted me about it, one teacher witnesses this who didn't seem to care. That changed me a lot more than the beating.

Though this did toughen me up, something I needed living there, I was happy to be able to be financially able to escape the area, and happy today to financially able to buy a home in a safe community where I can send my kids to safe/wonderful schools (I know there's no such thing as completely safe, but the differences are amazing).  And frankly I am much more at peace not having to walk around watching my back or just feeling hated all the time by those around me.

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: On being FIRE in the midst of a community tragedy...
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2019, 11:03:21 AM »



I can't help but wonder about the shooter too, what frustrations built up in his life after years of working in this place that made him believe this was the  only way out? What if he had been exposed to FIRE principles years ago, what if he had been able to build up a 'stache and walk away from his frustrations with a smile instead of a gun? Would having a FU fund have relieved some of his stress? Would it have provided the funds for mental health treatment? Or would it not have made any difference? I suppose we'll never know.

 Particularly for its substantial  premeditation,  a mass-murder FU is beyond my ken.

Why?
« Last Edit: June 06, 2019, 03:32:40 PM by John Galt incarnate! »

Maenad

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Re: On being FIRE in the midst of a community tragedy...
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2019, 05:12:25 PM »
I too hope you don't delete this. Even when we're not "close" to a tragedy, they can still shake us and prompt us to think about our lives, our choices, etc. It's unnerving, but I think it's ultimately beneficial. It just sucks that the triggering event is something bad.

Parizade

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Re: On being FIRE in the midst of a community tragedy...
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2019, 05:50:39 AM »
Particularly for its substantial  premeditation,  a mass-murder FU is beyond my ken.

Why?


I agree, a brain has to badly broken to even begin to contemplate such violence.

former player

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Re: On being FIRE in the midst of a community tragedy...
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2019, 06:42:18 AM »
Particularly for its substantial  premeditation,  a mass-murder FU is beyond my ken.

Why?


I agree, a brain has to badly broken to even begin to contemplate such violence.

Broken brains exist all over the world, but only the USA has this many mass shootings, so often.

You know the classic answer to why climb Everest is "because it's there"?  The answer to why these mass shootings is 1) because it's there (ie, the pattern is out there in the news) and 2) because they can (easy availability of guns designed to kill a lot of people very quickly).

Nothing to be done about 1) now, but 2) is up for grabs if politicians and populace take control of it.


Parizade

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Re: On being FIRE in the midst of a community tragedy...
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2019, 08:50:52 AM »
Oh dear @former player, are you planning to turn this thread into yet another gun control debate? There are already several other gun control threads in progress:

What do Mustachians think about Gun Control?


11 School Shootings in 26 Days


Las Vegas. I'm tired of this.


I was really hoping this thread could be something different. 

FLOW

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Re: On being FIRE in the midst of a community tragedy...
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2019, 09:02:08 AM »
OP: has this experience changed your perspective on the value of a low-information diet? 

I hadn't heard of this tragedy (I don't follow the news).  And it sounds like you were on a low info diet yourself.  So it's possible that other such tragedies have happened that you also have missed.


Parizade

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Re: On being FIRE in the midst of a community tragedy...
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2019, 09:23:07 AM »
This includes when I was 12 and leaving the local HS football game with a friend to head to my moms car and was beaten unconscious with lead pipes by a number of young adults.  The following Monday a number of people at school taunted me about it, one teacher witnesses this who didn't seem to care. That changed me a lot more than the beating.

That sounds awful @Much Fishing to Do, and I'm so sorry your teacher did nothing to help you.

The MMM blog and forums talk quite a bit about principles that support a healthy physical environment (as in reducing pollution). I think achieving financial independence makes a huge impact on an individual's personal mental/emotional environment too. I know it has for me.

infromsea

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Re: On being FIRE in the midst of a community tragedy...
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2019, 09:39:31 AM »
OP: has this experience changed your perspective on the value of a low-information diet? 

I hadn't heard of this tragedy (I don't follow the news).  And it sounds like you were on a low info diet yourself.  So it's possible that other such tragedies have happened that you also have missed.

Good question (and good comments from others).

I am not on a "zero info" diet so I'm vaguely aware of the other shootings/events. I listen to many podcasts and often get exposure to what's going on outside of my immediate zone of awareness and I check the local paper's website daily.

What I don't do is watch any of the local news except the weather (the wife watches when getting ready in the morning and keeps me "in the know" with local events/things of note) and we don't have CNN/other 24/7 channels. We also don't facebook/twitter etc., essentially, like being low carb vs keto/carnivore, we are not zero news but very low news/info.

What this "diet" allows us to do is dip in when things "matter to us" and leave 98% of what's out there alone, it's very calming for us.

SO and I were talking about this event last night and wondering why someone would do something of this nature and wife had a good point, it could be a physical ailment, a brain trauma etc. Didn't one of the college shooters have a brain mass, found in his autopsy? I suspect that the individual may have simply wanted to die (suicide by forcing a policeman to shoot) either way, the pain and mental situation is beyond my ken as well.

I am thankful to have learned the "lessons" from an event such as this long ago (life is finite, you could leave this world at any minute, your time is precious/spend it wisely) and I hope that this (for many) life changing event helps some move in a positive direction (stop chasing dollars in the bank, live an examined life etc.).

Thank you for the conversation everyone.

chasesfish

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Re: On being FIRE in the midst of a community tragedy...
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2019, 08:13:48 AM »
Been close to two of them, Virginia Tech and the Dallas Police Massacre...

Seniors at Virginia Tech that year were three years behind me in high school, lots of people I knew had siblings permanently marred.  My wife was at the vet school and doing a rotation off campus when it happened.  Reminded me how short life is.


On a side note, it also makes me jaded on the "gun control" debate.  One party raised a lot of money off Virginia Tech on the promise of doing something, including the current speaker of the house, then chose not to with two years in power.  Now they continue to raise money on the same promise.  Regardless of where you stand, never forget that.  To me its exploitation for political gain

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Re: On being FIRE in the midst of a community tragedy...
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2019, 09:49:33 AM »





 The answer to why these mass shootings is 1) because it's there (ie, the pattern is out there in the news) and 2) because they can (easy availability of guns designed to kill a lot of people very quickly).





Rumination------>Homicidal Ideation------>Reification------>Mass Murder



This is my theory of mass murder in the age of social media.


Reification = "because it's there."

Reification is perfected when  mass murder is live-streamed on social media as happened recently in the New Zealand mosque murders.




 





« Last Edit: June 08, 2019, 10:15:12 AM by John Galt incarnate! »

AZryan

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Re: On being FIRE in the midst of a community tragedy...
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2019, 12:39:59 PM »
-One party raised a lot of money off Virginia Tech on the promise of doing something, including the current speaker of the house, then chose not to with two years in power.  Now they continue to raise money on the same promise.  Regardless of where you stand, never forget that.  To me its exploitation for political gain

First off... the other party, you didn't mention, LOVES guns and has done everything imaginable to put them in as many untrained, imbalanced, unregistered hands as they possibly can. When there's only two choices (even though we don't technically have a 2-party system), I refuse to be on the side of riduculously irresponsible gun nuts.

Secondly... the Dems in the House can't really do anything. They have not been 'in power' for 2 years in the way you're implying. They can pass gun bills that simply don't pass the Senate and go nowhere. Or magically pass the Senate and get veto'd. It's a waste of time and could be politically stupid in the long run (by creating fodder for GOP to use in attack ads -setting the cause backwards) because the rotten game of politics is ridiculously slow and convoluted.

You need to support them until (if ever) they control Congress and the Exec again. Then you'll see the assault rifle ban come back and plenty of useful arguments over what the best approaches are to helping a gun violence genie that simply can't ever be put back in the bottle.

This is also why they're not simply impeaching trump. Because the Senate won't, so he'll stay in power, and it'll make the Dems look like toothless puppies -which they are. But so are the GOP by having the Dems able to block a great deal of what the GOP want to pass (impossible walls, looser guns laws, kill health care, etc).

Yes, they ALL have to 'run on issues' of what they're going to do and what they'll fix, etc. But we should all understand just how much of a gridlock nation we are and really it's mostly a matter of blocking the ideology of the opposite side as much as possible when a one-party government is not possible.

Note -it's almost a guarantee that the Senate will remain GOP even if Biden demolished trump in 2020. Basically nothing he, or any other Dem is saying they want to do, will happen if they get elected. But they want it to, the GOP wants to stop them, and you can't run on 'we won't fix guns, but at least it won't get worse. Maybe we can put more money into mental health issues? And we can't do single payer health care, but at least we won't gut Obamacare or let it spiral itself into dust.'

AZryan

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Re: On being FIRE in the midst of a community tragedy...
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2019, 12:42:51 PM »

John, that's a lot of 'dead air' in your post. Didn't you once talk on the radio for like 9 hours straight or something? heh

A Fella from Stella

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Re: On being FIRE in the midst of a community tragedy...
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2019, 07:02:25 AM »
Back on topic: Are you considering work in this area, still? Are you considering working at all?

FireHiker

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Re: On being FIRE in the midst of a community tragedy...
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2019, 02:15:44 PM »
This makes a lot of sense to me. I've been very close to two community tragedies now. One was a terrible murder of a teen girl years ago (I did not have any direct connection but did know a detective on the case as our kids were friends) and the other was a hate-crime based shooting where people were killed. In fact, the senior speaker at my son's graduation was there and had the gun pointed at him at one point, and I do have several friends who knew one of the people killed. I find when these things happen it really brings home the importance of valuing this one "wild and crazy life". Do I really, really care about having a bigger house and stuff or do I want to have the freedom to do the things that most bring me joy and spend time with those closest to me? We are in the process of dramatically downsizing our home so that we can reach FIRE sooner. Any community tragedy, whether it's close to home or far away seen through the news, reminds me of what is important. Hugs to you and your community.

Linea_Norway

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Re: On being FIRE in the midst of a community tragedy...
« Reply #17 on: Today at 02:14:22 AM »
It is indeed unpleasant as a wage slave to have to be in potentially unsafe areas. In one of my former jobs where I worked for 12 years, I had to pass one of the biggest train/subway stations in our country. I have often thought that if I had been a terrosist, that would have been the place where I would have done my attack. That would have given a big effect. I really didn't like being dependent on passing there every day. Also, the city itself had quiet unhealthy air quality in the winter. I live outside the city by choice, but had to be in the city for 8 hours a day because of work.
FIRE will give us the freedom to move out into the country where the air is cleaner and chances for attacks are smaller. But of course there can be other things.