Thursday, December 3, 2015

I AM AFRAID.

Are you afraid?

I am.

I don't mind admitting it; after all, we’re being sold fear.

Terrorists ply in it.

Politicians and pundits sell it.

Media, digital and social, subsists on it…thrives on it.

In our modern world of mass-communication, coverage of terror-inducing events 24/7 is inescapable.

9/11, France, Russia, San Bernandino, Sandy Hook; “355” is the current magic number…gun control, guns out of control…yet according to myth the first murder was committed with a rock, which is far more plentiful than guns…

My religion’s better than your religion, my religion’s better than yooouuuurrrrrsssss….

Hurricanes, tsunamis, irradiated fish…

Prayers…words falling upon deafened ears….

Children kill parents and hold house parties while the corpses decompose in the upstairs bedroom.

Spouses kill each other over frivolous domestic disputes, and post it on social media for the world to see.

Shoppers send people to the hospital over a bargain TV.

A television actress brutalized by a homeless man for no discernable reason other than frenzied impulse.

My mother and her husband assaulted at gunpoint, the latter pistol-whipped, at a local pharmacy a couple of blocks from their home….

“They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue!”*

Damn right, I’m afraid.

The world is a frightening, dangerous place on its own. Always has been and, despite our more lofty ideations, it would be jejunely Pollyannaish to believe otherwise. Humanity’s contributions are the overabundance at an all-you-can-eat-buffet. We were never promised a rose garden. We can only till the soil we're given.

It’s a dangerous business…going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”**

I’m afraid and I live with that fear…but I refuse to live in fear. We must continue to live life as we choose to while respecting others’ right to live theirs, for this is a freedom that belongs to us all, and no fundamentalist of any persuasion has the right to take that away. This assertion has nothing to do with “letting terrorists win” rhetoric, but everything to do with the fact that we’re dying the moment we’re born; that at any second, through an outside agency having nothing to do with us or our circumstances, we’re here one moment and gone the next. Life is a finite commodity, and every moment spent cowering is a moment devoid of fulfilled expression.

"Pray for the dead. Fight like hell for the living."***

Be vigilant. Be protective. Be proactive. Know there are some things outside of your control, but you have the option to affect what you can.

Yes, I am afraid.

But as we breathe, we still live.

Make sure you do.


*           “Malone” (Sean Connery); The Untouchables (1987).
**         The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; J.R.R. Tolkein (1954).
***        Mother Jones.

3 comments:

  1. I am not afraid. I do not live in fear nor do I make my decisions in reaction to fear-based outcomes. What is the point? The absolute worse thing that can happen is I might die.

    But as you point out in your final sentence, we must make sure to live. Each day of life can be splendid, full of wonder and awe. We choose how we live. How we see the world Be a hero. Represent good. Do it for yourself, your loved ones and your world. Shaping the world starts with your own perceptions. There is no value in dwelling on that which is beyond your control.

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  2. I totally agree with you, Dean.
    Well spoken!!

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  3. I am afraid, but I will walk out of my door everyday and what will be, will be. I will however, fearlessly kick the ever lasting shit out of anyone that tries to hurt the people that I care about.

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