Fear is the reason we have reason to fear

Fear: “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.”

Love: “an intense feeling of deep affection.”

Feelings of fear and love would seem rather contrary to each other. All the while attempting to avoid speaking in absolutes, we can conclude that, generally, it is unlikely for one to experience both fear of and love for the same person. That is not to say that fear of and love for the same person may exist at different times. It is common for many in abusive relationships to feel love for their abusers in spite the abuse. Even in such a case, the feelings defined above would not seem to simultaneously exist. When it comes to relationships, loving someone does not mean we actively feel the intense affection described above. It means we maintain that vulnerability that comes with being open to feeling that intense affection, that connection. To love someone does not mean we are incapable of fearing them. But to actively fear someone, we must cut off that willingness to be vulnerable, that willingness to love them.

It may be wise to fear certain things and even people when these things or people present a threat. The difference in unjustified fear and wisdom comes down to a difference in understanding of our world. There are those who say we need to keep those who are different out of our country. If those who are different are truly dangerous, then this fear is the product of wisdom. If they are not, then this fear is unjustified. We naturally tend to fear that which we don’t understand. If we aim to avoid pain in a world which would often seem to thrust pain upon us, an understanding of our world and it’s inhabitants is beneficial. The more we know, the more we can prepare for and even avoid potential pain.

In an effort to better understand our world, we tend to place things and people into categories. We say, “Those big cats could eat me.” and eventually, “I should stay away from all big cats”. Likewise, we say, “Those Muslims killed people.” and eventually, “I should stay away from all Muslims”. In the sensationalized world in which we live, cultural inputs would seem to gravitate toward the extreme. It would seem much more likely for media outlets to feature stories about the exception of Muslim people killing innocents than stories about the majority of Muslim people living and loving like nearly every other person on our planet. As a result, many of us only have negative experiences of Muslim individuals.

We may fear a person’s actions. But this cannot stop us from loving an entire group of people. Fear pits us against each other. Fear is the reason we have reason to fear. We have to wake up. We have to be the change we want to see in this world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s