*"Those who trade in fear simply make people more afraid, to the point where they will sacrifice anything, from the rights of others to their own rights, in order not to be afraid. It is simply wrong to use fear as a weapon.--Tom Ehrich, Morning Walk Media
I'd sub the word "make" with "stimulate" because I believe while we are each responsible for our actions, we cannot make another person feel a certain way unless an impressionable child. We each control our feelings. We each decide to buy in, in this case, to fear. And I believe fear is motivated/prompted by the unknown. The case can be made that it's in our evolutionary, primitive, reptilian brain parts, causing (or stimulating) us to fear what appears not to be from within our tribal culture. We fear that which we do not know and which we do not understand and I believe that is much of our stimulus for war with one another, be it on foreign battlefields or in privileged American political arenas.
So what is our solution? Starting from within. Meditation helps us become aware of the toxicity of our thoughts and derail how they drive our train. *And then looking at our language and how violent even our ordinary vocabulary is when talking to and about others and within our own minds. And then sitting down and dialoguing with one another.
Is it really that simple? Back to square one. Starting at home, from within. And then from the home-home. The home is where we give birth and raise our children--where prejudice, too often, is taught. Sometimes I am discouraged when I think of this cycle--the recycling of prejudice. But then it only takes one, often, to break the cycle.
So, then can we each become responsible to ourselves to our personal sense of integrity, to our individual faiths and sense of spirituality to break the cycles starting with our own selves and then go out into the world to be agents of change? Yes, I think we can and I think we must. Especially in these times....
*Caveat: I'm planning to write more on this theme during this national fire pit of time in which we are broiling. And, also about how our social media, namely, Facebook, plays a role. Am I innocent? And do I have all the answers. No. I publish this today knowing that I was guilty of this within my autism community this week and still pondering the heat of the flames fueled by the Chick-fil-A declaration last week and what part I played or didn't in the conversation on my page. I am a student and a seeker striving for change also within myself.