Minion Monday, Fear and loathing
With all the terrorist attacks happening all over the world, when we were doing our nightly cleanup last night younger teen asked me a question. He wanted to know why all the attacks are happening to people, why people think that to get what you want from life you have to hurt others, how scaring the world was the answer for anyone? When he said this he added a caveat, He asked me not to tell him who, he said, “I don’t want to know, I don’t want to give them recognition.”
With a deep sigh and a slight smile, I took a moment my mind went over what I could say, how I could explain to my 16 year old all of this insanity, when I barely make sense of it in my head. Then, I answered “I wish I could give you an easy answer, but there is no easy answer. They do this because they were taught that fear is a good motivation. They were taught that hate is okay. Then they fill the world with terror and hate because they don’t want to be the only ones who are afraid.”
He sighed and said “Why are they afraid” I told him, “I can think of lots of reasons, most of the are simply misunderstandings, fear of something or someone different, fear of the unknown, fear of not being heard, or smart enough, and fear of being hurt.” Then I went on to say, “There are other reasons I am sure but this is my opinion.” He said “That’s insane.” and went back to doing dishes.
You will notice I never told him that they did it in the name of religion, nor will I ever. Why? Because religion isn’t the problem, it never was, believing in something more than you, that the world was created or that someone is watching over you isn’t the issue.
The issue is the fear instilled in us, telling your kids you are going to hell, or that anyone is ever less than another because they don’t think, believe or act the way you do is the issue.
While yes most of that stems from the fear of the unknown, being told it isn’t okay to be different, trying to fit in rather than just being you.
Younger teen is right. Right about it being insanity, right about not acknowledging what terror group did this and most of all about not wanting to give them power, not wanting their names it instill fear. I am so very proud he sees this, that he understands at 16 how to not let the fear win.
There will always be fear, there will always be people who want to hurt others, but to give them the power, to allow them to hurt all of the world, feeds them, and feeds others who want that power.
I never want to know who did this, the answer is always the same, some stupid asshole who was taught that fear is the answer, I want to know who died, I want to remember their lives, think about the good that is now lost from the world of their stupid belief that fear is ever the answer.
I have a favor to ask of the world, don’t teach your kids that serial killers, terrorist and people who do awful things are to be feared, they are sad, stupid people, who let their fear, their hate and their loathing rule them. They are to be pitied not idolized.
Teach them the names of people who changed the world for the better, people like Mother Theresa, Gandhi, and Plato. Teach them to think, to fill the world with love, beauty and most of all acceptance. Teach them that different isn’t a reason to be afraid, but an opportunity to learn. Teach them that religion isn’t an excuse. None of the religious books I have ever read preach hate, some teach fear, but they always include how they overcame that fear. Teach them that they alone are responsible for what they put out into the world. Despite what the media says teach them to mourn the victims and not give power to those who do the evil doers. Yes “fear is a powerful motivator” but so is love. Don’t teach them that they will go to hell if they loves someone, even if it isn’t who you want them to love. Don’t teach them to be afraid. Make your elf on the shelf report back their good things, and have santa bring them extra because they we so amazing. Give them the skills to be happy and not afraid, especially if you were never taught those skills. Remember that baby you held in your arms, looking into their eyes and the love you felt, then give them that love every day, even when you are tired, stressed and afraid. We all want to give our kids more, to make their lives better, so stop giving them less than all the happiness you can. Remember that happiness isn’t a thing, it is a feeling and a much better way to live than in fear. Being afraid is okay, we are all afraid, but letting that fear motivate you to harm anyone is not okay, ever. While this might never change the world, it will make a few more good people, happy people and kind people to carry on and most of all it will fulfill that promise we all make to our kids when they are born, the promise to fill their world with love.