A couple of days ago I was watching a news talk show. During the show they were discussing the conflict between police and people in certain communities. One of the people presented an argument that such conflict could be easily reduced if a person simply cooperated with the police. So, if it is that simple why is it otherwise?
“I am afraid.” Afraid, of what? It is a good question because I don’t know that I can explain it very well. I can remember as a young boy growing up on the farm that I was afraid of cows and pigs. It was a terrible thing to carry that fear in my heart alone. Perhaps it would have been better to let my father know of my fear and then perhaps he could have helped me overcome it. However, that was not the case as I was more afraid that my family would discover my fear than I was of the fear itself.
Now, imagine that a person is afraid but like me they don’t want anyone to know they are afraid. Then imagine that they discover that they can mitigate their fear by being with someone else. Next imagine that the group grows from two to three and from three to four and so forth. At this point we can establish a group called a gang, or perhaps an organization.
Even though the group has come together due to fear, ultimately in such a group eventually someone will be challenged to prove that they are without fear. It happens because each one in the group must protect the information that they are afraid and choose extreme methods of aggression to hide their fear.
If we are afraid the next thing we will seek is protection. From where will protection come. In one instance we could expect to be protected by family, but what happens when family fails to protect. In Transitions, A Spiritual Evolution, I told the story of being assaulted by a hen with a brood of ducks when I was about four years old. I never developed a fear of chickens, rather I lost my trust of family. Loss of trust of family doesn’t just stop there. Distrust extends outward to other social systems; teachers, police, judges, government and other parts of our society. If I cannot trust you how can I give you any sort of control over me?
If I am afraid and I have lost my trust, then if your goal is to interact with me on a rational scale then you must understand this fact. If you interact with me in an aggressive manner then you will only confirm my feeling of distrust. The same distrust is confirmed when you interact with me in a completely passive manner. In this latter case I will simply see that you are only placating me in order to gain control over me.
What do you do to overcome my fear? I think you must first overcome your own fear. Recognize your own fear and the source from which it came. If you can do this then you may be able to discover who you are. If you know who you are then you may realize that there is no reason to be afraid. If you are not afraid then there is no reason to distrust. Rather than distrust you may be able to discover the love that you carry within.
I am afraid. I know this and I am working on the source of my fear. One fear at a time; I will discover the source of the fear to set myself free. It is not easy; it is necessary.
God loves you, love always,