Sunday, February 19, 2017

Are You Afraid?

These days I find myself being fearful. This isn't normal for me. When fear controls us it seems as if self-interest is the only way to survive. I see a lot of "evidence" that we should separate from others, hang on to what we've got so we don't lose it, pull into our own little circle to be safe.

When self-interest becomes the norm we believe we can't afford to give, to share, to be open. After all, if we give we won't have enough for ourselves when "they" come for it. Doesn't matter who we think "they" are. Maybe it is the "enemy", those who are different from us, the government, whatever.

Fear abounds and we go into defense mode.

However, that fear is what will destroy us. It destroys the inclination to share, to give, to connect outside our tiny circle, to be a part of the greater good, of the world. And together, we really are stronger. I am determined to resist this tendency to fear that which "might" happen.

In the next few days, look at what you are encouraged to fear - Be afraid of people who look different, sound different, believe different. Be afraid of losing your rights, your income, your home, your freedom. Consider if that fear is based on reality or on supposition. When I was working in the mental health field we used to say that "fear" was False Evidence Appearing Real. So much of what we are led to fear is based on false evidence.

Think about this: A ferocious lion is looking at you, moving closer. Are you afraid? Sure, you think. But if that lion is in the zoo and there is a glass wall between you and the lion, you need not be afraid. Is your fear based on fact then? How much of what we fear is based on supposition? It is based on "what if". We ignore the fact that there is that wall between us and the lion. We fear the "what if". It is fantasy because the conditions you fear do not exist. It is not a "clear and present danger." There are facts we've ignored.

Of course, it makes sense to be prepared for what is most likely to occur, but how likely is it really? And does being prepared mean you must live in that fear and withdraw from the rest of your world? Does it mean you must huddle in your own little corner, watching out for that lion that someone says is prowling about, and looking out for no one but yourself?

This is what seems to be happening in these uncertain days. We have lost sight of who we are as a member of a large and strong group of people who can make the world a good, caring, and safe place for one another when we join together. We can.

Let's not be afraid to reach out to others, to be the solution rather than the problem. Let's give our time, talents, and resources to the greater good. We will make each other and ourselves stronger.

What do you think?

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