In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s disastrous for education—and mental health.Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt
The term “triggered” is often used to describe the powerful emotional reaction at a memory. It’s most commonly associated with veterans; the sound of fireworks, for example, can trigger the flashback of being under fire.
I’ve only used the word “triggered” unironically once on this blog, to describe the strong emotional reaction at the memory of my daughter’s birth and baptism. There are studies which argue that special needs families — parents and children — do, in fact, sometimes suffer from varying degrees of post-traumatic stress disorder. I can’t speak to whether or not we do (I’m no expert), but I do know that it would be easier to avoid thinking about Namine’s hospitalization. It would be easier to refuse to talk about how Namine almost died, about her countless procedures and surgeries, all the pain she’s gone through, and more.
It would be easier, but I doubt that it would be better for us. We do the opposite: we do our best to remember all we’ve been through. We write about our experiences, not only for ourselves but also for others. There are over eight years of life in our family blog; search through it and you will find both joy and sadness.
There are horrors, such as when Namine almost lost her foot. There is also happiness, such as when Namine rode her hand-crank bicycle for the first time. To ignore one would be to ignore the other, and perhaps diminish the importance of both. Tragedy and joy have punctuated many of the years of our lives together, and we embrace it all.