This is not the blog post I was going to write today. Someone or some group has highjacked my thought process with their crime. I don’t care what the motives are or the text book definition is, those who use violence to strike fear are terrorists. The attacks today in the United States and Iraq, and those are just the crimes in the spotlight, are designed to make us afraid. Fear of violence is everywhere in our world from school yard bullies to rogue nations threatening nuclear war. What makes fear such an effective tool for people who wish to control us?
‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’ Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Maybe fear is such an effective tool because it is always pushed on us. Advertising makes us afraid we won’t have friends or get laid if we don’t use the product offered. Politicians spread fear to push their policies or distract from not having any. Religions spread fear to keep people docile and obedient.Why did we let fear become an integral part of our culture? How does it make society better?
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.‘ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
-Mr. Rogers (a reminder from Amanda Palmer’s Twitter feed….april 15, 2013)
Fear is part of our survival instinct but at times in order to survive we have to overcome our fear. As Mr Roger’s said we must find the helpers. They’re easy to find on days like today. They run where everyone else is running from. On any given day somewhere on Earth a firefighter, police officer, paramedic et cetera is killed going where the fear says not to. One woman I follow on Twitter was demanding to be called up with her Air National Guard unit. That is the antidote for the fear being spread by the terrorists and the opportunists who would use this event for their agenda.
There will be an urge to fortify society some more and to suspect a group who may be affiliated with those responsible but let’s not have that as the victims’ legacy. Over a century ago London Ontario had steamship disaster that devastated the town. The money raised didn’t go to a monument but to look after the survivors and the families of the victims. Let the legacy of this event to be a less fearful society for the survivors to live in. Let’s all stand up to those that spread fear and start denying them the means to use fear as a means to control.
The events of today in Iraq and Boston were crimes. The law enforcement agencies will hopefully catch those responsible and provide evidence for convictions. We must not call out for revenge or deny anyone their rights. To do so is descending to barbarism and surrendering to fear. Some people in our world deal with violence and fear everyday, they move on every day, the stand up to it every day. Those who just know through news should remember that.
I am at heart a pessimist who is negative about human nature. Some times it is hard to remember the words of Bruce Cockburn ‘Kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight’