During the peak of World War II, where it was expected that the citizens would go through hell, the opposite happened. People turned out to be more resilient, driven and motivated during the war.
The looming threat of being dead at any time turned out to be beneficial for the mental conditions and toughness for the individuals. Suicides lessened, and social unity and community bonding increased manifold.
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During war times, the common man is least prepared for dealing with the drastic change of circumstances, displacement, loss of life of the self and loved ones, along with injury, loss of property and mental trauma.
Social and financial distress, loss of morale, and death of innocents are the byproducts of war, the effects of which are felt on the common man for decades.
Modern society robs us of togetherness and social bonding at a primal level, with safe and easy lives detaching us from our loved ones, as we don’t feel the need to show our love and care, or make any sacrifices.
Along with that, having lots of money rarely makes one happy, as is seen with the rise of depression and suicides in the urban, affluent societies all across the world.
Paradoxically, in the times of disaster, when everything is breaking down, one’s mental health shows an improvement. A connection or bonding is formed due to everyone facing the same disaster. Situations requiring trust, co-dependence and sacrifice keep appearing for us to be able to survive, removing our disconnection with one another.
This happens because the way to relate to one another changes, and self-interest is dissolved while group interest becomes of prime importance.
When a certain disaster or calamity happens, we work towards ensuring that the same calamity can be dealt with in the better way, the next time it happens. The pain or loss that we suffer motivates us to do so.
We forget in our preparation and resource allocation to the ‘last’ disaster, that we have neglected many other things that are more likely to happen.
The available research on the topic mostly shows us that, when faced with a disaster, people tend to be more caring and more concerned about the ones around them.
Different forms of selflessness are easily reachable by individuals during natural disasters.