Catastrophes and Stress

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By aileen30
Words 2731
Pages 11
Ailen Fernandez
PSY 102
April 21, 2013
Jones, Jennifer

Catastrophes and Stress American Leader Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity” (Martin). Luther King believed that in order for us humans to have a meaningful live we must put aside our personal problems and care about the problems of humanity as a whole. The earthquake of Oakland, California in 1989 is a true example of this quote. As the sirens of ambulances roared through the abolished city thousands of civilians gathered together, taking risks, to help those that were in the borderline of life and death. Learned helplessness, survivors’ guilt and altruism were all forever cultivated in the lives of those that lived the tragedy. Learned helplessness is a “giving-up reaction” (Learned Helplessness, 2006) that individuals experience when they are not in control of the outcome of an event. The earthquake in Oakland, California occurred unexpectedly, not even seismologist could detect the upcoming monster that damaged so many cities (Amaldo, 2004). As the people started to feel the shanking and falling of objects to them, they started to experience learned helplessness because there was nothing that they could do to stop or change the outcome of the earthquake (Amaldo, 2004). In the video Surviving the San Francisco Earthquake of 1989 learned helplessness is seen when Pastor Berumen, father of the two young children whose mother was crashed by the top road of the freeway, says “that’s is one of the things that is keeping me alive; I’m happy and sad at the same time” (Amaldo, 2004), after leaving the hospital with his 6 year old son, whose leg had been amputated at the scene where his mother died. Berumen experienced learned helplessness because he could not…...

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