Saturday, November 28, 2015

Fear and Response – Paris and Anything Else

I received a lot of comments from readers last week [Msg-3-Nov-2015; Fear and Response After Paris]. With her permission I want to repeat an email conversation between a reader and myself:
I have given this much thought.  I actually physically feel the pain that is going on in this world...not just in other countries, but here as well.  There are gangs and violence.  There is hunger and homelessness…. There was a time when you could actually pick up a hitch hiker. That is no longer a safe thing to do.  It's not about fear, it's about intelligence.
I would love to open my home to a family that is homeless.  And I did at one time.  I was robbed and taken to school!...
As far as the immigrants....How do we turn our backs on them?  And yes it is true that not all of them are bad.  But what if just 1% of them are terrorists?  Can we open the door to 5000 terrorists and bring that danger to our children and grandchildren.  It seems an easy decision to help others, until you personalize it.  Would you not stand and fight someone who was trying to harm your grandchildren?  I know I would. 
Yes it is very unfair to the 495,000 that are not terrorists. But we must protect our families and that is one hell of a gamble.
I agree that violence is not the answer, but when someone is holding a gun to my grandchild's head, I will definitely respond by shooting them and saving my grandchild.  This isn't about anger and fear, it is about love and protecting ones that you love.
There are people in this world....LOTS AND LOTS of people in this world who have been brainwashed into wanting to kill us.  You cannot ignore this and think you can just love that person enough to get him/her to put down their gun and not kill your grandchild.
And the thing that is so sad about all of this, is that they are doing it in the name of religion.  They believe they are following God's plan.   And just like any religious zealot [including those in the U.S.], you cannot convince them that their beliefs are wrong.
I think we all have the responsibility to share love and understanding.  To give love completely and unconditionally.  But that doesn't mean that we should love the person who enters the theater and starts shooting.  It means we should love all of the others in that theater and stop that one violent person.
Yes love is the answer.  But protecting those you love is also love.  Lock your doors at night.  Don't pick up hitch hikers.   As far as solving the world's problems...I wish I had the answer.  But unfortunately I do not.  I give and share love, but I also try to make informed decisions that will insure my safety and that of others that I can help.
Dear _______: Thank you for your comments….
I am constantly reminded of the ACIM axiom that states every thought and action I take is either increasing love or fear. However, I live in this 3-D world of separation and dualism. Although I believe I am an already-loved eternal spirit having a human experience, I still drive on the right side of the center-line of the highway - and hope that the car approaching me does the same. I still contain my anger when I see unfair and unjust occurrences in this world. I do not go and throw bombs or bricks at a judge who allowed some minor legal technicality to let some guilty person walk free or to refuse to hear evidence indicating someone has been wrongly imprisoned. I try to manage my money and live within my means. I always find I have enough to allow me to share. And I try to ask the Holy Spirit to guide me to be able to look on anger and fear as a call for love. I ask Him to help me in what to say, or not. I still need to do a lot of work on myself with that.
To me responding to ISIL/ISIS and responding to the refugee situation are two different things. The political response on the Right and the Hawkish Left gloms the 2 issues together. I want to keep them separate. I also am trying to raise everyone’s consciousness to the blatant self-serving fear mongering that serves to distort my perception of reality - and maybe yours as well.
The Paris terrorists were not Syrians. They are French and Belgian citizens. In 1935-40 we refused and threw out thousands of Jewish refugees from the growing menace of Nazi Germany. We were afraid they might be communists or fascists. They were sent back to Germany, where boxcars waited for them. We know what happened.
Anything I can do to prevent a recurrence of that kind of phobic reaction I want to do. Yet, this too is a form of fear.
Something else to think about: 23,092 – The number of Syrian refugees the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has interviewed, checked, and referred to the U.S. Refugees Admission Program. 7,014 – The number of Syrians the Department of Homeland Security has interviewed since FY 2011. 2,034 – The number of Syrian refugees who have been admitted since FY 2011. 0 – The number of Syrian refugees resettled in the U.S. that have been arrested or removed on terrorism charges.
The process From UNHCR to admission to the U.S. is 18-24 months. So, in reality, we are vetting and admitting only 10% of the UN’s prior vetting.
Blessings, Don
I appreciate your comments, but would like to clarify mine thoughts were not directed to just the Paris attacks.  My thoughts and pain for this world is about those who bring evil into the world and make it such an unsafe place that they leave us with the terrible decisions to make about trying to be safe.  I reiterate, this is not about fear, it is about love and making intelligent decisions to protect ourselves and others.
I too am a spiritual being having a human experience.  And I believe we are all where we are meant to be.  I also believe that I should use my faith and love and strength to stand up and protect those that I can, even at great personal cost.
Fear is fear – whether or not I can justify it. My personal fears are the most difficult issues for me to recognize and “own.” When I think of texting drivers, distracted drivers, or drunk drivers, I would be forced to never let my grandsons into a car, where the statistical odds of being hurt or maimed or killed are greater than those of being attacked by terrorists or a “Sandy Hook” shooter. When I am trying to protect or prevent, I am in fear. I agree with you that sometimes in this 3-D world that is appropriate. Regardless, however, I need to be aware of what I’m doing and why. I will never be rid of all my fears. That is not my spiritual goal – it is, however, the spiritual target that I aim for. The only way I know how to keep my eye on that target is to be conscious of the fear swirling around me and inside me.
I am slowly (and I emphasize “slowly”) beginning to understand how important it is for me to simply allow myself to quiet my mind. I used to try to meditate while trying to understand that the fear/response motivating ISIS/ISIL for example, is the same fear/response that is motivating biblical fundamentalists or white supremacists or anti-abortionists or me. It’s a fear that has attached itself to some form of religious principle or to a form of being “right” and appears to provide people a little solace. If I could just believe that thought fully enough, it would provide me some peace. All it ever did was put me at war with myself, which is not very peaceful.
Just being quiet and letting the fear – and everything else (including my sense of being “right”) – go has offered me more little slices of peace and serenity than anything else I have found. In essence, that is what the Course in Miracles calls for me to do. Just be still and observe my thoughts with no investment in them. There’s an old West Texas adage: “You can’t stop bad thoughts from entering your head, but you can stop pulling out an extra chair and inviting them to sit and visit.”
But that is so hard for me to do sometimes! I’m glad I’m only a work in progress – striving for spiritual progress not spiritual perfection.
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening. As always – feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.
Blessings to each of you as you wrestle with this.

#4 Nov 2015

Copyright 2015

No comments:

Post a Comment