When I was in elementary school, we had a routine fire drill. The alarm bells would ring, and we were expected to drop everything and run outside as quickly as possible. As a young child, this was frightening, even upsetting, and we initially took it very seriously. The drills continued through our school years, yet we responded in a much different way by the time we reached high school: The alarm bells would ring, we’d shrug, pick up our stuff and shuffle outside for what we knew was just another break from class. We’d become numb to the alarm bell ringing because we knew there was no fire.
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