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Events Shape People More than People Shape Events

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Commonly it’s debated whether events shape people more or people shape events more. I’ll play the devil’s advocate for these 2 points. Events are a broad category that encapsulates historical occurrences and personal or traditional ceremonies. Likewise the term ‘people’ accounts for various experiences, genders, ethnicities, age groups and generations. Since both selections are diverse, the basis of the essay will be on the 9/11 and how the event shaped the surviving victims and vice versa.

9/11 occurred on the 11th of September 2001. Universally this event was glorified as a maleficent act and still referenced today. Indubitably, this terror attack killed almost 3,000 people and left thousands scarred with remnants of a hellscape. The event grabbed massive attention, overflowing the media for several days. To further show that events affect people more than events, evidence from the surviving victims and families will be used. Over 3 years, Dana Rose Garfin (DRG), a specialised research scientist from University of California, Irvine and some of her colleagues surveyed over 3,400 victims after 9/11.

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In summary, results showed a considerable portion had some problems like post-traumatic stress and acute stress. Sometimes these complications even resonated to victims’ children and communities, ultimately plaguing their lifestyle and surroundings. The study described how the suffering victims had unease in their daily life, failing to live and work comfortably. Not included in the research, other victims took the terrorism to court afterwards with all their perspective clouded with conspiracy theories, convinced that all the evidence added up, causing loss of trust in the US government.

On the contrary, the 9/11 event can similarly show how people shape events more. Details of 9/11 were spread around the world rapidly through social media and news. In DRG’s study, it detailed how acute stress was stimulated and made worse through the mass exposure of 9/11. Other than the media people who transmitted the globe with 9/11 details, the victims themselves took 9/11 to court in an attempt to alter it from a tragedy to a controversial accusation.

Despite Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden claiming responsibility, the plaintiffs were not satisfied and were determined that Saudi Arabia was behind it after listening to the human spread conspiracy theories about George Bush and the country. Multiple times the defendant to such claims was found not guilty and ruled innocent due to no evidence and suspicions were disregarded they were just “conspiracies” like other circumstances from past events.

Both sides of these arguments have compelling evidence and insight but ultimately events shape people more than people shape events. The 9/11 example showing victims being shaped more rather than the victims converting 9/11 from the most renowned terrorist attack to a controversy. The event caused a small ripple effect from the victims to surroundings as well as altering perspectives and causing it to still be talked about today. Whereas the people caused little to no change, still allowing it to remain as just an unforgivable act and not an infamous controversy.


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