The idea of bewilderment has several uses. The first meaning that the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) includes refers to the decomposition or disorder of the components of a machine or a body.
The most common use of the concept, however, is linked to the confusion or daze that a person experiences when they fail to understand something or when they do not know how to act.
For example: “There is confusion among the investigators since they cannot find any firm clue to advance in the resolution of the case”, “The president’s statements generated confusion in the financial market”, “The confusion of the local team was taken advantage of by its rival ”.
Suppose a woman meets a friend on the street. When she walks over to greet her, she is surprised by the indifferent and aloof attitude of the other part of her. Even her friend speaks to her with some aggressiveness. This causes confusion in the woman since she cannot understand the reaction of her interlocutor.
Many times the bewilderment is caused by an unexpected event. A man receives a phone call from abroad, where he is informed that his mother – who was on vacation – had an accident, is hospitalized and must undergo surgery. Subject doesn’t know what to do: Should he travel immediately? Would he have to contact the embassy for help? Or call the hospital directly? Confusion prevents him from solving quickly.
Precisely, one of the basic questions we ask ourselves in a situation like this is “Now what do I do?” . It is a kind of prayer that we raise to the universe itself or to the divine entity in which we believe, asking them to enlighten us with the answer to know how to act, in what direction to move, because we are not prepared to face such a disconcerting event and We feel like we can’t get over it.
It should be noted that there are people who are specially trained to act in situations of bewilderment. In the face of a terrorist attack, to cite one case, the police, nurses and doctors have an action protocol to provide urgent assistance.
All human beings are susceptible to confusion, because no one is guaranteed stability throughout their lives. On the contrary, the combination of free will with what we call chance manages to give unexpected results more than once, and when our certainties turn into doubts we come to feel bewilderment.
Another way of understanding this concept is as a state of despair, which in each case can occur with a different degree of intensity, which arises from one of hope: in a matter of seconds we can make this transition if we find ourselves in a situation that is opposes what we expected, or if we receive bad news that places us in a position of great vulnerability and powerlessness.
In addition to the two meanings mentioned above, the RAE dictionary also proposes another three for the term bewilderment, which speak of “a state of perplexity and disorientation”, “a lack of economy and government” and “the absence of measure and way in words or actions. All this matches the examples and explanations given so far, which describe bewilderment as a state in which we don’t know where to go, what to do, because the structures seem to crumble in front of us.
Of course, the most appropriate attitude in a state of confusion is introspection, the search for the reasons that have made us feel this way. Many times we believe that life is arbitrarily testing us, but in reality it is we who have caused the problem, and only through reflection and inner search can we learn from our mistakes so as not to make them again.