Hate is a Symptom of Fear

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Fear is the virus.
Hate is the symptom.
Communication is the treatment.
Understanding is the cure.

What if we looked at all this hate in the world to find out it was always really just fear?

No room for hate without fear. Without fear it all disappears. Fear keeps you from listening and thinking and seeing.

If you were on the other end of a hateful word or action, would that understanding change the way you see and react? Could you see that angry old white guy screaming in your face as a fearful child? If it made you angry would you act out of hate and fight back? Where would that lead? Do you scream back at a frightened child?

There is no end to fear fighting fear is there? It’s why we go to war. Or at least’s it is how we get thousands of people to participate in war. We use fear to divide. We use fear to manipulate. We build the hate through the stirring up of fear.

“They’re going to take your job.”

“They’ll rape and murder the people you love.”

“They’ll change your religion.”

“They’ll give your hard earned money away.”

“They’ll take away your guns and your freedom.”

Hate is a symptom of fear.

If we could have a conversation from there, where might it go? What if we didn’t feed the fear?

What do we tell our kids when they are afraid? We ask them what scares them. What are you afraid of?

A protest is an organized cry for help. This is what we’re afraid of will somebody please listen!?

If we don’t start listening to what people are afraid of things will never get better. We’ll just keep living in fear and hate will rule the day.

Right now I am afraid if I share this someone will judge my thoughts as wrong. I’m just a privileged white guy in his 40s so what would I know of fear and suffering right? We all suffer in one way or another. We’re all afraid of death so that’s a good place to start.

And I’m listening. I’m learning.

Are you listening? To the world? To yourself?

It begins with you.

Cultivating an Attitude of Entrusting

“Cynthia Bourgeault, modern-day mystic, Episcopal priest, and Center for Action and Contemplation faculty member, discusses Centering Prayer and the practice of embodiment to cultivate an attitude of deep surrender. Cynthia encourages letting go of anxiety from COVID-19 by exploring the depths of our own silence.”

I found this word helpful and maybe you will too.

Cycles of Hope

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“My ancestors were river people which means they were familiar with floods. When storms came, whipped by violent winds, the waters would rise until they breached their banks, washing away fields and houses before them. Water covered the land until slowly, as the storm subsided, the river returned to its timeless course. The flood was hard to get through, but it left behind the rich earth from which our crops grew in even more abundance. This memory of my culture is not a perfect analogy for what has been happening over the last many days, but I believe it offers us a sense of the cycles of hope. Our streets are rivers. Our people are living water. Our fields are where justice grows and where community takes root in the new earth.”

Steven Charleston

How Shall I Rise

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How shall I rise?
Will I shout and point
Or stand in line with
Fists clenched and
Teeth bared and broken?
Of course I weep for every flower clipped
And poison sold.
How much blood and fear
Should flow in these veins
As I sit in my chair
And scream for peace
In a world of frightened children
Seemingly abandoned.
How shall I rise?
I shall stand with wonder and compassion
Even as my eyes roll back in my head
Because we do this for our children
And they are watching
And they will do as they see.
We give them permission to make justifications.
How shall I rise?
I will rise in a way
That makes sense to me
And speak to things I know of.
I will not judge.
I will no assume or accept.
I will rise
so my children can shine
And then it will be my time.