Sadly, when I look at the world today I see that it’s largely been caught up in the hysteria of fear. It’s questions like the following that seem to be plaguing everyones mind as the media pumps out an endless litany of terror.
Who will win the presidential race? Does that person walking down the street carry a gun? What are the implications of Brexit? Will I keep my job? Will my kids love me when they’re older?
Like the USA, Australia is in the middle of a federal election campaign. The two major parties here have finally devolved into, you guessed it, fear campaigns. You can almost feel fear's icy tentacles grip the nation as the attack commercials are shown time and time again on the television. It’s really quite sad.
Being bound by fear of the future and what may happen can be debilitating. One of my favourite science fiction books is Dune by Frank Herbert. In the book there is the following quote:
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
The quotation takes a stand against fear and states exactly what it is, a mind-killer that brings death and destruction. So how do you overcome your fears?
I was recently traveling on a packed bus in Amsterdam and an odd thought crossed my mind as a looked on a lady with wearing a haj, “If she has a bomb vest on I would never know.” It was ridiculous, full of bigotry and most of all fear. How do I quickly get off the bus? Will I have time? Am I right with my maker?
All these thoughts rushed through my head until I mentally faced my completely irrational fear not with mental fortitude or grim determination but with love. I decided to look on the people around me not as faceless individuals but as mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and children. The woman wearing the haj wasn’t nearly so scary anymore. Suddenly, my fear evaporated and instead I found myself smiling at those around me (they probably thought I was crazy – LOL).
There’s a great quote from the Bible which says, “Perfect love casts out all fear.” President John F Kennedy said, “It’s amoral when men and women of good conscience fail to act.”
So in these turbulent times make a decision to show your love for your neighbour, your friends, work colleagues or even the stranger down the street. Together, if we stand against fear we can make a better world, despite our leaders, a world that we can enjoy with our loved ones.
Have a great weekend.