There are many people in my life who I care about very much who seriously run from life. I mean run away like life is just a track meet. There is no fight or flight response involved. It's all "See ya later, Alligator."
I've watched the consequences of their actions grow in size and intensity until the consequences start to spread like a Medieval plague, roiling the waters of the subconscious, cracking the ground beneath the feet, and turning the houses, fences, and sign posts into piles of sawdust. It's not a pretty sight.
God has this curious way of teaching the lessons that we need to learn. If we avoid looking in dark closets and beneath our beds for the monsters that cause us nightmares, the fear never goes away. The monsters and the anxiety they evoke keep getting bigger and bigger until we are finally forced to muster up the nerve to say "Hey, what the hell? Get out of my damn closet, Dude." Or not.
You can bet your ass that these fears will keep coming up in your life with more and more riding upon each successive episode, until, sooner or later, you will be forced into a situation where all of the walls are made of mirrors and the only door is locked from the outside. By this time, a simple display of courage and/or common sense will no longer satisfy the god of chaos, and payment must instead be made in muscle tissue, thickened blood, shattered bone, broken hearts, bounced checks, and a flood of tears.
This principle generally holds true for the world at large. Think about it; our founding fathers knew that slavery was at odds with our nation's clearly stated principals, and yet they kicked the can around until the disease was so deeply embedded that it took the blood of half a million people to cut it out of the body politic, and even then the payment wasn't enough. The consequences of our ancestor's neglect has permeated our country's history and American society down to this day.
It also happened in World War I. Most historians would say that there was no intrinsic reason that that war had to be fought. A bunch of very stupid people got their panties in a bunch and refused to admit that they were a bunch of ninnies, then, the next thing you know, they were mowing people down by the millions, and setting the stage for the further massacre of millions a scant three decades later.
The great pioneering psychologist Carl Jung had this to say in 1917, 'This war has piteously revealed to civilized man that he is still a barbarian... But the psychology of the individual corresponds to the psychology of the nation. What a nation does is done also by each individual, and so long as the individual does it, the nation also does it."
Watching World War I unfold in all of its gruesome idiocy, Jung understood that the history of nations, especially in its most hideous aspects, is created by the collective failure of the individuals who make-up the nations to both know themselves and to act responsibly with that knowledge.
In other words, our individual failure to deal with the monsters big and small that confront us on our journey through life, is also the failure of our politics, our culture, and our nation, as well as being the source of the monsters that will one day confound our children's children.
I've seen the results in my own life as I have ran from confrontation as much as any person who I know or have known. I thought I was seeking peace and tranquility by doing so, but, instead, I created sickness, anxiety, doubt, dry rot, dust covered hopes and dreams, and the conditions of a plague in my life and in the life of my daughters.
Jung's words are still very relevant, very much so. We need to teach our school children how to confront their monsters as individuals, to develop the strength that they will need to ward off calamity. Instead, we are teaching them to think as a group, something that will place at them disposal of those who will manipulate their fears for their own power and profit. This in turn will guaranteed that the monsters they will confront one day will be far more frightening and destructive than the ones they face as children. Or, maybe they themselves will become someone else's monster.
Only our own individual courage, created and fully developed by our own self knowledge will ever really change this world for the better. Jung stated this over a hundred years ago when he wrote, "Only in the change of the attitude of the individual is the beginning of the change in the psychology of the nation."
He could just as easily have said, "If you want to cure the illness of the world, open your own closets and look beneath your bed, and maybe do some dusting while your are at it."