We live in a society that promotes fear. Our news is filled with it all day and every hour: there are terrorists out to get us, the economy is collapsing, yet another virulent disease is promoted as the one to subdue all mankind.
So incessant is the message that there is no rest, but because we never stop listening to it — on Facebook, on Twitter, on CNN, on Fox news, in the newspapers, in the magazines, at the movies (which are some of the best means of putting ideas into people’s heads) — we feel, like Chicken Little, that the situation is hopeless, and the world is crashing down.
Some people believe what they are consistently, hammeringly, mesmerizingly told, such as that ISIS is out to get us, and if not ISIS, yet another group that, like the diseases, will pop up out of nowhere. Unless we follow what we’re instructed to do and think by the experts, we will perish.
Others, suspicious of what they consider a collusion between mass media, corporations, and government, seek out alternative voices, but the fear is there as well: a small group of wealthy, powerful, elite people is out to control the planet, and they are unstoppable. The voices of the pseudo-Christian political element add to this, pessimistically intoning that since Jesus is coming back soon to destroy the world, why bother? Just make sure you’re all right with Him, so you don’t burn with everyone else.
What an interesting interpretation of “good news.”
While it is true that there are evil men, with evil intent, upon this planet — so they have always been. Those of us who follow God, or say we do, have been given the means to find comfort in the grace, love, mercy, power, and protection of this God, but all of us, regardless of our religious persuasion, can use our common sense to realize this:
Men are mortal. No matter how rich, how influential, how powerful, how despotic — all men eventually die, and their deeds with them. Consider the Pharaohs and other elites of ancient Egypti — tales are told of mummies, long after they were interred, being so disregarded that they were ground and crumbled into drinks for medicinal purposes.
The meme accompanying this article contains a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, a 19th century writer who began life as a minister, and resigned from the profession because of profound disagreements with the establishment church. (This piece of information alone is one that makes me willing to read him.)
One doesn’t have to accept all of what one man or woman says (and indeed, we never should!) to find wisdom in their words, and there is wisdom in Emerson’s. Here is the fuller text from which the meme’s statement is taken:
“In the occurrence of unpleasant things among neighbors, fear comes readily to heart, and magnifies the consequence of the other party, but it is a bad counselor.
“Every man is actually weak, and apparently strong.
“To himself, he seems weak; to others, formidable . . . But the sturdiest offender of your peace and of the neighborhood, if you rip up his claims, is as thin and timid as any; and the peace of society is often kept, because, as children say, one is afraid, and the other dares not.
“Far off, men swell, bully, and threaten; bring them hand to hand, and they are a feeble folk.” (From the essay, “Prudence.”)
It is time to stop being constantly, persistently, unceasingly afraid.
Thank you for reading me at This Woman Writes. Posts complementing this one are