Friday, February 23, 2018

Fear: the Return to Nothing

It is a scary time to be a student.

I remember my own fears of gang violence in school as a teenager in rural America, unfounded as they were, but perpetuated by an obsessed administrative faculty.
Daily I played out scenarios in which my classmates went to war within the halls of my High School.
Not as some fantasy, but grown from worry of the possibility of it.

I can't imagine what it's like today. This week. This year.
Being a teenager is hard enough as it is.

It's easy to argue that things are better or worse or the same as any bygone era.  And things are all of those.

In our recorded history:
There has always been violence.
There has always been suppression.
There has always been fear.

How we respond to these things, that is what is important; our reactions are where we find significance.

We now receive information, true or false, at lightning speeds.
Our reactions are often reflected with that same inertia.

If we respond with knee jerk reactions, without taking time to review the facts, then we are perpetuating the negativity that so permeates our culture at the moment.

Angry rhetoric breaks against the rock of equanimity. Be solid. Be stoic.

Hate fails where love prevails.

Everything we know is temporary. Let us enjoy the time we have here together.

If we want change, we must be that change.

Violence only begets more violence. That is history.

I am proud of our oldest son, who in a rumor swirled morning returning to school the Wednesday* after President's Day hears that there were threats made over the weekend towards his school.

*Tuesday's scheduled return to norm was cancelled late Monday night, for reasons unprovided.

He didn't start the conversation off with "come pick me up" or anything of the like.
He stated the stories as he heard them, not making them facts, but seemingly without judgement.
He has been listening. He was not worried, or at least, told his mother that he was not.

There is no foundation for this type of talk. Without concrete evidence of 'something' occurring, there is no reaction appropriate.

Rumors. Fear-mongering. These deserve no response.  They are empty.

On a final note:
I realize it is easy for me to armchair quarterback on this issue.

These are my personal feelings and insights. If I have offended anyone, I am sorry.
I reach out with compassion, not with malice.

As always, please consider others.  We live in a small world, after all.