If this blog seems a little untimely, it’s because I’ve been working on it for a bit, trying to decide what I want to post. For the TL;DR, scroll to the bottom.
I don’t generally blog about Issues—not seriously, anyway. I really just want to talk about Chris Hemsworth in the movie about the Essex, or these cool new pens I got for my planner. And yet all this Serious Issue $#*! keeps happening. It’s crazy and tragic and infuriating and frustrating and heartbreaking. And I have a lot of feels and some vehement opinions on these Serious Issues, but I have no solutions. (Well, I do, but most of them involve mind control, where I can just send out rays to the chips in everybody’s heads and say “Okay, nobody kill anybody else. Oh, and read more books.”)
I was watching Highlander the other day, and you know at the end, where he gets the prize, and the Silvercup sign blows up, and he’s all like “I see everything! I know what everybody’s thinking. And I’m going to use it to help people understand one another and bring about World Peace.” I was like, “Good luck with that unless the prize came with a mind control ray in the box.”
So, I spent a couple of hours, or three, writing a long
rant manifesto essay on fear (and mind control) and believe it or not, this is the short version.
Our climate has become divisive and angry and filled with fear.
Some of it fear of change, like the pushback that has come in the form of #notallmen and #alllivesmatter. But some of it is artificially enhanced, the pot of our paranoia stirred by people and institutions that have a lot to gain from us being afraid of each other.
Fear closes minds to compromise, to acceptance, and to the love we’re supposed to have for one another.
Fear is it makes us selfish, and it isolates us. We think only of ourselves. We don’t cooperate, because we’re afraid the other person is going to pull one over on us, or somehow come out better in the deal.
Fear makes us easy to manipulate. That’s the true mind control.
It’s a scary world. Americans fear a terrorist act, and they’re frustrated because they don’t see leadership with a decisive strategy for dealing with it. (That’s what CNN says, not me, whose solutions all rely on science fiction. Or magic.) But the odds are far greater that you should worry about a firearms related incident. (About 33,000 people in American die from gun violence each year.*)
“Love thy neighbor as thyself.” It’s so simple. It’s in the Old and New Testament, it’s in the Qur’aan, and it’s not even a matter of faith, just of decency and coexistence.
So, here’s my point. The world is full of far more decent individuals than horrible ones… until fear gets involved. We need to pay attention to who is trying to stir that fear into hate or injustice. When bigots and blowhards tell you that we need a wall to keep the Mexican rapists and criminals out, or that we need to ban all Muslims from coming into the U.S.,
or that Jews are responsible for the economic depression in post-war Germany, they are flat out fear-mongering, and its inflammatory and dangerous.
So, don’t let anyone tell you to fear your neighbor because she wears a headscarf or he has dark skin. Don’t let anyone say that if we give medical care to the poor they’re going to turn into lazy hoodlums.
And for God’s sake, don’t let anyone tell you that “Happy Holidays” is an attack on Christianity. (I feel like Christ is okay with not making a large percentage of the population feel like second class citizens in their own country.)
Don’t let anyone use fear to control you, or to drive a wedge between you and your fellow human being.
This is probably the most political you’ll ever hear me, unless something awful happens, like Lord Voldemort 2.0 getting the Republican nomination. Because honestly, my whole political platform boils down to this:
*According to the Center for Disease Control.
Edited 9am because I can’t number.