A few years back, on the ninth anniversary of 9-ll, I talked about fear… Well given the horrific events of the past week ―events that literally hit close to home for me since I live here in the Boston area ―I want to return to that topic.
And as I do I am reminded of my 2010 commentary about a movie trailer I saw for an upcoming Will and Jaden Smith blockbuster called After Earth, which also talked about fear.
In it, Will and Jaden find themselves in a futuristic and hostile version of Earth where all species of plants and animals have evolved to kill humans. In one poignant scene, Will’s character speaks these profound and timely words to his anxious son, played by Jaden.
He says: “Son, if we are going to survive this, you must realize that fear is not real… It is a product of thoughts you create. Now do not misunderstand me ―danger is very real… but fear is a choice.”
Powerful stuff, think about it. Fear as a choice, not a natural reaction, but a conditioned one, hmm.
Why is this important to recognize? Especially at critical times like now?
because: Acting out of fear, or abandoning reason and logic in the name of safety, has never kept us safe or secure. To the contrary, it makes us even more vulnerable.
You see, first, we are victimized by a tragic event, and then we are victimized again by those who take advantage of our fearful condition.
Like politicians who use tragedies to enact laws that strip us of our constitutional rights and liberties.
And in the end no one is safer, because safety, like fear, is largely an illusion. You can arm your home with alarms, weapons and surveillance cameras but that won’t protect you from the sinkhole under your house or the resentful family members you’re trapping inside with you.
There’s something more powerful than fear. You see, fear crumbles in the face of faith, love and hope.
Let’s look to eight year-old Martin Richard, one of the three to die in the Boston bombing, as an example.
He once responded to a school lesson on the shooting of Trayvon Martin by creating a sign that simply read, “No more hurting people. Peace.”
Isn’t it amazing how the pure sentiment of a child can transcend any notion of fear to make a basic human point, one, if honored, would have prevented such tragedies in the first place?
And that quote by Martin Richard, “No more hurting people. Peace.” is the one I’ll leave you with for this week. In the wake of this tragedy, it is the one law I’d gladly support.