I am amazed at the new tatic being used on the world’s citizens to motivate them to allow the erroding of personal rights and freedoms through various passage of laws: FEAR.
Fear is not a new thing in the world, and we as infants start out our lives without fear. We are taught what to fear as we traverse through childhood and into adulthood. The problem is, that we have become a society that once was based on trust to one based on fear. We can’t let our kids walk to school anymore (even though it is only 4 blocks away), for fear that a serial pedophile is going to snatch them. We can’t get on a plane, without going through a scanner, metal detector, x-rays, etc. We have allowed the government to control our movements and lives with the passage of bills like “Homeland Security”, all because we are (were) afraid of something that could hurt us. Afterall, we can’t live in a bubble like forcefield that will protect us from every evil in the world, so we need to legislate the heck out of every citizen in order to try to keep the “boogieman” away.
Don’t get me wrong, we need laws. It is just that we are starting to think we can make a law for every thing that can possibly go wrong in our world. We have laws against drinking and driving for instance, and this is a good thing. It would be better if people would stop choosing to drink and drive on their own, rather than selfishly get behind the wheel of a car after drinking. Knowing this, and seeing news story after story, and commercial after commercial for MADD, does it actually stop people from driving while intoxicated? NO! The idea that laws are going to stop people from choosing to do stupid stuff is ludicris. It hasn’t stopped people from the Garden of Eden until now, so why do we keep driving home this idea that a law will protect us from the evil and stupid things people do?
In the days that have passed since the latest massacre at a school, we have all kinds of people jumping on the fear bandwagon to get laws for gun control. Do I think we need to have some tougher laws on possession and storage of guns and ammunition? Yes. However, I live in a place that has some of the strictest gun ownership and storage laws that I know of, and we still have news stories of people being shot in the street. It isn’t the gun that is the problem, it is people making poor choices that is the real problem, and there is no law that is going to stop someone who wants to kill people from doing it. If that were the case, our prisons wouldn’t be full of people convicted of murder. Besides, there are other ways to kill and injure people than just guns. So instead of focusing on how we can make schools a safer place, we are focusing the fear tatics on trying to control guns, an inanimate object, that has no free will of its own, but is totally depend on the person who possesses it.
It is a defense mechanism, fear. We want to control what we have no control over. It is natural to try to make sense of what we don’t understand. Fear was intended to save our lives in a danger situation. The problem is, as a fear based society we no longer can differentiate what is worth being afraid of and what isn’t. We are so stressed out, we are making ourselves sick. Stress is often triggered by fear: fear that you don’t have enough money to pay the rent, fear that your spouse is going to leave you, fear that your child is going to use drugs, etc. We wrap ourselves in it like a coat, and we wonder why we always feel hopeless.
Is fear really getting us anywhere, or is it actually making things worse? Fear gives power and control of yourself to someone or something else. We are afraid to lose our job for instance, so we continue to work for a horrible and abusive boss, all the while wishing you had the power to tell them what you really think and where they can stick their job.
I think the new movie that is being released next June, After Earth, by Columbia Pictures, states it best: “Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Danger is very real, but fear is a choice.”
We can choose to live in fear, or we can choose to live in freedom. We live on a continent that has massive laws and legislation, and yet we still consider ourselves free. Laws don’t erradicate fear, they may help us cope with it, but they don’t remove it. We have the choice to do that.
I realize that this blog post is probably going to make some people angry. Anger is a result of the perception that someone is blocking your goal. So for those that want a bunch more laws controlling absolutely everything, I am sure you are going to be angry. For those that want to find another way to resolve our social problems, you might find this blog opens up a new idea for dialogue, discussion and action. For those who are living with fear everyday, I hope you see this as an encouragement to shed that coat that has been holding you hostage, and to look at your situation in a new light, and give you hope.