Rethinking the Unthinkable

What if you suddenly didn't react the way someone thought you would?

Your kid plows into the garage with the new car and you don't scream. But you do make your point. Or someone bad-mouths you and, instead of railing back, you don't say a word?

What if there were another terror attack and, rather than retrench, we moved on? Quickly.

I ask this because of an astrologer guest of mine this week, who predicts sometime next year the stars are telling him we'll see another terror attack and it could be big.

Naturally, he assumes and his stars say, we'll all recoil in shock and we'll all be awed. And, just like 2001, we'll stop buying, stop shopping, stop everything.

Terrorists counted on that reaction then. Just like they're no doubt counting on that reaction again.

But they were wrong then and they'll be wrong again. Don't forget, it wasn't that long after Sept. 11 (search), that we Americans picked ourselves up and started looking up and out for each other.

We returned to our lives, returned to our stores and returned to our markets. We were shocked, but we weren't stopped.

I think Usama bin Laden (search) counted on us stopping, not shopping. On us being soft, not stern. On us being weak characters, not ultimately showing a lot of character.

I just think it's a bad idea to respond the way everyone thinks we predictably will. We vowed a response and we gave it. Later, by taking the fight to the people who perpetrated the evil. But first, by proving to them that we would not be cowered by that evil.

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