What an old house can teach us about dealing with terrorism.
Let’s imagine for a moment we live in an old house. Just like the one in this picture. It’s a comfy old house with lots of charme. Our friends love to visit us and we party often and loud in the old rooms.
The only problem is the old electric infrastructure. When we vacuum, we need to turn off the stereo or we blow a fuse. After the first short circuit when it smelled like burned wood, we get a fire extinguisher. Just in case. Then we blow another fuse and we barely manage to stop the fire before our living room was a smoldering disaster area. Trembling like leaves we rush to get a fire alarm and a sprinkler system. Or friends look a bit puzzled the next time they visit, seeing the installation, but hey, we feel better.
A few weeks later, sparks set our office ablaze and after we manage to kill the fire, we decide to install a fire alarm and sprinkler in every room. Just to be safe. Next to each socket and each lamp. From the top floor down to the basement. Total surveillance.
It’s strange that friends no longer visit us since they got soaked last time time by the sprinklers when we blew a fuse. But hey, lets be fair, why did they have to turn on the TV while the huge electric grill is still on?
Much more important is that we feel safe. Lonely, but safe.
However… what about tackling the problem at it’s root and replace the ailing electric installation with a new, modern one? One that can handle modern life? Sure, our house would turn into a construction site for a while. It would be costly, complicated and noisy.
But renovating would not mean our house would loose its charm. It would just be – more modern and safer. If we want, everything would look just like before.
And most importantly: We could party again. With loud music, having old and new friends come over and have a good time. Without being afraid we blow a fuse and burn the house into ashes.
We could keep a fire extinguisher, back there in the corner next to the stove. Just in case our exotic flambé dessert gets a bit too…. fiery next time.