“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” –Frank Herbert, Dune
I have fears. My new job brings with it some concerns. New laws in Ohio threaten the future of my institution, but then again, it’s been threatened with closure nearly since its inception. If they are hiring, I can only assume they are not fearing that they will come to an end.
And I think it is fear that causes people to stop looking out for our everyone’s best interests. It was interesting to me that someone posted a meme on Facebook starting that Denmark is the happiest country in the world for a number of reasons–and one of them was a $20/hr minimum wage. Another person said, “Yeah, but they pay 38% in taxes.” Newsflash: our tax rates are not that far behind, I have the tax return to prove it, and I don’t make much more than Denmark’s minimum wage. Yet they have free healthcare, free college, and free childcare. My brother in law did the math, and the take-home pay after taxes is still $12.40/hr–MUCH higher still than our minimum wage BEFORE taxes. Taxes are not the devil. Americans have this weird notion that taxes ARE the great evil due to our revisionist type of American history. Boston Tea Party, anyone? I had a great history teacher, and I know for a fact that she taught us the truth behind the American Revolution, but if I ask almost anyone I went to school with, they will stay say we revolted because of high taxes.
No, no dear children. We revolted because we were taxed without representation. Jolly Ol’ England was considered to be out of touch with the needs of the colony. It wasn’t the fact that there was a tax but rather that governing laws were being decided like we were the redheaded stepchild across the pond.
I don’t bring this up to stir a political debate. I’m not trying to say liberal socialist agendas are any better than conservative capitalist ones.
I’m just tired of a society that lives in fear.
Fear of the future. Fear that we’ve been doing it wrong. Fear that, yeah, we may have made mistakes–a lot of them. Fear that someone might come along with a better idea that challenges our preheld conceptions of, well, anything.
Fear that maybe Christ isn’t coming back.
Fear that maybe there are worse things than flipping someone five bucks so they can eat a damned cheeseburger and have a clear pair of socks.
Fear that maybe my Wicca is just as valid as Gardner’s Wicca. Or maybe it isn’t. Does it matter?
Fear that I can’t walk to my car after a long shift because someone might see me limping due to my plantar fasciitis and decide I’d be an easy target. Again.
Fear that my experience is somehow wrong, or my feelings are unjustified, because I have a uterus and am therefore hysterical.
Fear that maybe none of this matters. In a few hundred million years the Earth will be engulfed by the sun. Then what?
I’m tired of fear.
So let’s DO something about it. Let’s teach our children not to instill fear in others, but to instill LOVE. Let’s show everyone that there’s a better way. Let us be mirth and reverence, beauty and strength, power and humility. Not “or.” AND. These are not mutually exclusive ideas.
Let’s create a world where we aren’t ruled by fear. Where our daughters don’t have to wonder what our sons will want after dinner is bought and paid for. Where our sons don’t have to choose between their boyfriends or a roof over their heads. Where, “Your mother wears Army boots,” is a simple statement of fashion choice and not a derogatory judgement of her femininity. Or maybe it’s a celebration of her choice to serve her country. Where I don’t have to be afraid to say that yes, I will be working at an abortion clinic. Where no Witch has to worry about the stake, no Christian has to worry about the lion.
Fear. Fear is the mind killer. Let it pass through us and become as nothing. Let us remain.
Vivamus atque amemus. (Let us live and also love).