DiaryDad is concerned about how loud the message of fear is.
In 2001 when the Twin Towers fell my kids were just a hope I had. They were a part of a bright dream I had for tomorrow. They were what I believed would be my chance to put the best of me into the world. I would lay awake some nights and imagine all the wonders we would do and discover together. Sometimes I still do, but that dream feels harder and harder to chase these days.
I grew up being told anything was possible. I grew up believing we were in a country that welcomed others regardless of race religion or creed. I grew up in a country that put the freedom of it’s citizens first. I grew up in a country where the government represented “we the people” not “we the corporations”.
Today we are constantly told to fear, my kids are growing up in a country where the message being shouted louder than any other is fear. Fear those who look different, Fear those from other countries, Fear those who believe differently, Fear those who marry differently, Fear Democrats, Fear Republicans, Fear Conservatives, Fear Liberals, Fear the rich Fear the poor, Fear, Fear, Fear!
“When will we have hurt enough people, killed enough people, and made enough war?”
There are many who proudly tout that we are a “Christian nation” and yet we turn a blind eye to Christian values. The chief of which is love and compassion. How long would you have to look around before you find a bumper sticker with “WWJD”? What would Jesus do? Would he be tolerant of other religions and see the good in them, like the good samaritan? Would he let women, children, and families who have fled their homes look elsewhere for refuge or would he tell his followers “Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”? Would he withhold aid to the poor and homeless? Would he be proud of those finding ways to hoard more money than they need? Where are those “Christian” values? Or is good enough just to claim we value them rather than put them into practice?
Violence is increasing in our world at home and abroad. Instead of rational discussion on the topic and open debate on solutions, we scream more guns! more war! When will have destroyed enough families? When will we have ruined enough futures? When will we have hurt enough people, killed enough people, and made enough war? Why are we looking for more ways to hurt each other? When will we we want to make peace our priority? How can we ever hope for peace when we are always on the hunt for new people to call our enemies?
The sad truth is the terrorists are winning because we live in fear. We are waiting for someone to give us the “all clear” so we can come out from hiding. It seems we need a sign that it is ok to be unafraid again. We are buried in the rubble of that terrible autumn day in 2001 and we don’t know how to dig out.
No president, no congress, no government, no law will dig us out of this. We are going to have to do it ourselves. It isn’t easy either. It will be difficult at first. It will be uncomfortable and even a little scary.
“We have to face our fear and share our love.”
You see the thing that counters fear and terror is love. We need to love our neighbor next door. We need to love our neighbor down the street. We need to love our neighbor who has a different political belief. We need to love our neighbor who has a different religious belief. We need to love our neighbor no matter who they marry. We need to love our neighbor despite their opinion on the 2nd amendment. We need to love our neighbor no matter what their country of origin.
We need to say :“How are you?” “What do you need?” “How can I help?”. We need to do it as neighbors, as communities, as states, and as countries. It has to start with you and it has to start with me. No one is going to tell us it is time to start. We have to face our fear and share our love. Our friends need to see us do it. Our children need to learn this behavior from us. Our government needs to see that our values start with our love for mankind. Our enemies need to see that fear is not harbored here.
When we approach the difficult issues with an attitude of love and acceptance of those we are working with and those we are working for, we are far more likely to arrive at workable, viable, and sustainable solutions. That’s the world I want to leave my children. We need to learn the language of love again.
Photo Credit: the author.