In difficult situations, humour is a good medicine that helps to reflect and put things in the right perspective. The popular Mexican series, El Chapulín Colorado, in which the superhero plays a grasshopper with humour and childlike innocence.

Calma, calma, que no panda el cúnico, is one of his famous sayings that he used to advise those around him when faced with dangerous or very complicated situations. I bring it to mind because what is happening in our country, in terms of security, deserves preoccupation and attention, but it is far from justifying the panic that has been generated in the population.

Fear has spread like an epidemic to all corners of Chile, even to non-violent and quiet places far from the hustle and bustle of the cities. Fear has reached the heights of power, awakening in these people the most creative proposals to combat crime, most of them very striking and not very effective.

Fear is considered one of the six basic emotions and, like all emotions, it is triggered by seeing or imagining a risky situation. Fear ensures survival, but we must be careful because fear clouds reason and therefore it is not advisable to make decisions beyond ensuring survival: fight or flight.

When a person experiences fear, a series of processes are activated in the brain that prepare the body to deal with the perceived threat. The sympathetic nervous system is activated in response to fear, causing an increase in heart rate, breathing and blood pressure. In addition, the brain releases stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, which increase the availability of glucose in the body and activation of the immune system.

Fear can affect cognitive function and decision-making. Research has shown that fear can decrease attention span and working memory, which can make it difficult to solve problems and make effective decisions.

It is the responsibility of politicians to address insecurity effectively and communicatively, because an insecure and fearful country becomes slower, more depressed, more violent and unjust.

This country-wide description is seen on a daily basis in the school ambit. A community that is afraid of authority, of its peers, of bullying or discrimination, is a human group that stagnates, does not learn and does not perform.

In education, it is also valid to say: calm down, calm down, don’t panic, and in that reflective pause, let’s make decisions to promote pedagogical practices of coexistence. Fear is an emotion that paralyses us, it does not allow us to move forward.

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