Fear of "Others"

I read a post on Facebook recently from someone I know. This post got me thinking. My thinking got me writing. It's in a very stream of conscious essay. Agree, disagree that is your choice. I'm sure it's not as eloquent as it should be; but it was typed on an iPhone in the middle of a store, so please grant me some lattitude. 

a Fear of the "Others"

I've lived and visited more cities than I can count in a few countries across the globe. The differences I encountered were minimal and of no true consequence. They have been of different colors, different nationalities, different religions, different colors and different languages. True friendship and love were identical across them all. They all also shared another characteristic, fear of anything different, anyone that wasn't of "them;" save a few odd balls who thought of strangers as opportunity to learn and seek truth. 

The "them" or "others" varied even in the same place. Humans want community and have an innate desire to mistrust those not of their community. So they see the "others" as different just to say they are different. The "others" worship a different god or worship in a different way. The "others" have skin that is darker or lighter. The "others" speak different or act different; and so on. In those differences the group finds an enemy or they associate the "others" with a real or imaginary enemy to justify their fear and their anger. 

The only way to feel at home is to accept that which is around you and to seek only to change that which is wrong or unjust. To acknowledge the differences and maybe learn from them. To then accept a level of human trust of those around you until an individual loses that trust by act or lack of act of that single individual. At which time only that individual is to blame, those of like background remain innocent and there should be no guilt whether through association or heritage levied against them. 

The world isn't a dangerous place. It's a fantastical place of mystery and adventure, of beauty and rebirth. The people of the world are not dangerous. It is fear in any form, deserved or not, that is dangerous.

Fear, it is a vile and ugly enemy turning angels into demons; potential friends into battling soldiers of a war they do not comprehend. Through that war they spread hatred, the 1st born child of fear. 

FDR said it best, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

What or whom do you fear? Ask yourself why.

The only shield from fear is knowledge, the only sword against hatred - learning.