I believe that the root of all evil, all pain, is fear. It's true in any relationship - personal, community, national, international. Trace the source of any harm that you have done to another or that another has done to you and you will find fear as the source. We do not pursue our full potential due to fear. We do not reach out to others due to fear. We hate our enemies due to fear. We fail to speak out for others when they are wronged due to fear. We don't apologize when we should, due to fear. The source of greed is fear. We fail to solve problems out of fear.
Fear is powerful. It invokes strong emotions and can drive anyone to behave and act in ways that are not true to their professed values and beliefs. Fear creates monsters and monstrous people are riddled with fears. When fear drives our lives the monsters grows larger than reality. If we allow our fears to grow, the insatiable monsters need to be fed and we will create situations - real or mythical - to prove our fears.
The only thing more powerful than fear is love. But we act quickly and spontaneously out of fear and slowly and deliberately out of love. Fear is a sprint. Love is a marathon. Fear will flame high and spread fast but Love grows slowly and will overcome in the end. Fear lies. Love is truth.
So how do we overcome fearful influences - lies - greed - all the harmful outcomes driven by fear.
First, we need to recognize and identify our own fears then work to overcome them. Silence our own monsters.
Second, if we understand our own fears, it's easier to recognize when others are speaking and acting out of fear.
Third, train ourselves for a marathon. Love is patient. Love is at peace in knowing the outcome.
Finally, speak from a source of love - patiently, in truth, and deliberately with a steady pace. Don't stop the pace - speak out - but be very careful that love is the source from which you speak and act. Don't feed the fear or fear mongers.
One of the best examples is what happened in Hitler's Germany. He was a very effective orator and was able to create great fear throughout his country targeted at Jews, Homosexuals, disabled people - anyone who wasn't deemed as the perfect race. The fear grew to a monstrous level that resulted in a whole society doing or overlooking horrific things. Fear allowed the horrors to continue for years.
Love worked tirelessly underground. Love saved lives and smuggled thousands from the country so they could give witness to truth. The Danish people stood up - in acts of Love - and said "NO this won't happen here." Those working against Hitler during those most fiery times, shed fear and acted out of love. It had to have felt hopeless but they did not stop. They didn't focus their attention on Hitler, they focused on those who were at risk. Ultimately the world stood up.
When you hear anyone speaking words of fear - personal or political - look for the truth. Dig a little deeper. Tune in to fear trigger tactics. They are all over our political landscape. Those who try to mislead you, politically or personally, will use fear. For the short term people fail to act, act and react much quicker based on fear. Dig deeper. Look carefully at the long term outcomes of acting on the fear path. Find truth and love.