Fear is at the heart of the world’s problems. Hatred, greed, and violence all have a root in fear. Fear has led people to do unspeakable things all throughout time. Fear of what you don’t understand. Fear of something different. Fear of the unknown. Fear of being exposed. Fear of not being in control. Fear of mediocrity. Fear of loss. Fear of harm. Fear of knowledge. Fear of consequences (real and imagined).
How do we fight an enemy that isn’t always seen? An enemy that exists in all of us? Very carefully. Always use caution in every aspect of life. Caution and fear are not the same. Caution is vigilance. Fear leads people around blindly. Caution preserves them and allows them to clearly and safely assess a situation.
Do not let fear turn us into the very thing we hate. Because if we ourselves can’t overcome it, how can we expect others to? If we see and understand fear for what it is, we should know better than to act in the same way. Fear is a subtle state. Those who in fear partake in acts/words of anger, violence, hatred, greed, do so in ignorance, and use values to justify it. But what value is this? It is the value of fear. But fear is a wanna-be value, isn’t it? And why should we be afraid? The world can do terrible things to us. Surely we can do terrible things to the world. Yet aren’t we the world, and it us?
Fear is counter-productive. Those who are too afraid to climb up out of a hole, will NEVER leave the hole. If doctors were too afraid of catching a disease to handle it to find a cure, what cure would we have? If people had been too afraid to stand up for their rights, what rights would we have? If we are afraid of fear, how will it ever be overcome? With caution, not putting ourselves in dangerous situations, but understanding the difference between acting rightly and acting wrongly. Understanding that all people are not the same. Knowing that it’s unfair to ask those who have been wronged (on all sides) to rise above their pain, but nonetheless the only way to truly heal. And knowing that those who continue to do harm cannot heal. By taking fear and confronting it, proving that it can’t undo you. If fear can undo you then you should be afraid.
Don’t let fear stop you from helping others, being kind, and getting to know others. Terrible things do happen. There are terrible people in the world. There always have been. Don’t let fear of them stop you from doing what is right. Don’t let fear cause you to overreact or make false speculations resulting in actions that harm or hinder another. Acts of kindness change hearts, and minds.
The global issue of terror attacks and refugee resettlement is what is on my mind tonight, but I think the root and endgame of fear can be applied to most situations. My ancestors came here to America, from Russia, fleeing violence and famine. Very many families have come for similar reasons. How quickly we have forgotten the help that we received. It should not even be a question today of whether or not to help refugees in need. If we have to ask the question then fear is with us, and we know the end before it has begun. Don’t let fear undo us. We are a nation, and a world, of many people. If we don’t let fear control us, together we can do great things.
This is a link to a blog by anonymousoutsider, about fear and the importance of teaching our children to understand; and to not let fear define their future, or ours.