Fear in smothering proportions

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

11 AM. Come to think of it, I think I hear you saying that election campaigns keep people out of trouble. Rather than generating all that hatred as it appears, perhaps they merely channel it and keep it within bounds, partly by giving people the next election to look forward to, partly by keeping it in a well-defined us-and-them relationship rather than letting it become more free flowing and perhaps generally antisocial.

We’d hardly say “instead of.” It is true, what you just said, but it is at least equally true that politics is failing to do these things; hence the rising anger and the inability to compromise or even listen. The fear has risen to smothering proportions, drowning out reason or faith. Thus you see people developing seeming split personalities. In their personal lives they are reasonable and able to love. In their impersonal lives – when they are being driven by fear and cartoons – they are unreasonable, implacable and unable to love or even tolerate. If you cannot see that this is people under the influence of first one then another set of strands, we’ve wasted a lot of your ink!

No, I do see it. Is there a cure?

Fewer real things to fear, fewer chimerical things to fear, fewer elements of life that seem isolated, fewer causes for substituting someone else’s judgment for one’s own. Or – or – conscious decision to live in love.

Which isn’t going to come from politics.

No, but which could transform (and diffuse) politics.

Where is it going to come from?

For black communities in the South 40 years ago, it came from the churches. Can you see any equivalent today?

White churches seem to be centers of reaction and fear.

Or hotbeds of rest. So where are you going to look besides within?

I don’t know.

It can only come from people physically associating as people, the way churchgoers do. If you don’t have that, you don’t have anything. Nothing coalesces without some central gravitational pull.

Well, I just can’t imagine what it would be. We don’t do anything communally since that damned television was invented.

Then a new means of people coming together – and we don’t mean virtually – will have to develop. The need will manifest it.

2 thoughts on “Fear in smothering proportions

  1. This is so true! I keep asking what can I do, how could I contribute to bringing people together. Not much answers coming. So just having my own strands play better together, even that is quite the task.

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