- 1.an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat:”he is prey to irrational fears“synonyms:terror, fright, fearfulness, horror, alarm, … moreantonyms:calmness, confidence
- 1.be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening:”farmers fear that they will lose business”synonyms:be afraid of, be fearful of, be scared of, be apprehensive of, dread, live in fear of, go in terror of, be terrified of, be terrified by, cower before, tremble before, cringe from, shrink from, flinch from, be anxious about, worry about, panic about, feel consternation about, have forebodings about, feel apprehensive about, be in a blue funk about, have a phobia about, have a horror of, have a dread of, shudder at, take fright at
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- 1.a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility:”the colonel’s anger at his daughter’s disobedience”
- 1.fill (someone) with anger; provoke anger in:”she was angered by his terse answer”
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- 1.intense dislike or ill will:”racial hatred“
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These three words have often been the root of atrocities throughout the history of civilization. They fuel the opposition of the other by the self in terms of human interrelation. What is dissimilar to us is against us. A simplistic statement that can act as the pebble which begins an avalanche, creating an unexpected level of chaos and destruction before the end comes. All three of these emotions have formed the basis to oppose whatsoever may be viewed not only as opposites or simply different, but also as perceived threats. Human form a bond within the group that we identify with, whether it be family, based on region, politics, etc. We crave for this opposition as something to strive against or to feel superior and satisfy the ego.As both a cynic and a historian, I do not envision this ever changing. I would like to be wrong, but even a cursory glance at the past will prove otherwise.
I had not decided on a topic for today until an hour or so ago. The atrocities committed at Christchurch settled this in my mind, though. It is also a personal topic to me, as someone who, in my past, satisfied the needs of a fragile ego, by hating what was different. You can have friends and acquaintances of varied backgrounds while still viewing those like the as the other. It is easy to fear, hate, and feel anger towards whatever is different rather than accepting those differences as part of the human condition. I was fortunate that there was the instance of the right person at the right time saying the right words to cause me to reevaluate who I was and the feelings that dominated me. I hated myself (still do, to some extent) and carried a great deal of irrational anger, both of which were transferred onto others. Many years passed before I began to recognize the root causes of this behavior and work to correct it. Now? I still get angry, but for different reasons. I thoroughly loathe bigotry and keep a mental tally of the behavior of those in my life with regards to racist and bigoted behavior. I have transferred those root emotions towards that behavior which I used to exhibit and attempt to challenge it when it occurs.
What does this all boil down to? I understand actions such as those in New Zealand on a personal level. Although I would never have transitioned to violence, it is all too easy to see the foundations which led to murder. Even in light of the loss of life, there are still people who refuse to condemn murderous attacks by white supremacists for what it is: Terrorism. The are acts of aggression culminating in events to instill terror and establish n idea of dominance. I see this attack in terms of religion, yes, but more broadly as racism. Both factors are indicative of the other, but can just as easily be about the color of skin, the visualization being a more ready target for aggression. It can be argued any number of ways, but religion and racism are the root of this event. I’m just splitting hairs.
Over my years with the park service I have had the privilege of meeting so many many people representing incredibly diverse backgrounds and I would not trade those experiences for a thing. Social media has done the same, but primarily through Twitter. Muslims, Atheists, Christians, Middle Easterners, Indians, Pakistani, and on and on. I value differing perspectives and experiences from my own. I enjoy learning, but have a great deal of trouble reading and being able to focus on what is in front of me. It may be an unidentified learning disorder as this has long been the case. However, the personal interactions through social media continue to fascinate me. I’m tired of searching for the other in people, doing what I can to curtail it in my presence, but likewise despair of seeing that becoming a widespread action in my lifetime.
Thank you for visiting and giving some time for my thoughts. Hopefully it draws questions in your mind to seek answers. Particularly, to any Muslims who may read this, you have my love and support through these shocking events. Until next time, thank you again for visiting and take care of yourselves my friends.
PS: If any of this offends you, I don’t care keep it to yourself or jog on.
Something about this reminded me of one of my favorite prayers:
Franciscan Four Fold Blessing…
May God bless you with a restless discomfort
about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships,
so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.
May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression,
and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for
justice, freedom, and peace among all people.
May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer
from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may
reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that
you really CAN make a difference in this world, so that you are able,
with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.
And the blessing of God the Supreme Majesty and our Creator,
Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word who is our brother and Saviour,
and the Holy Spirit, our Advocate and Guide, be with you
and remain with you, this day and forevermore.
Thanks for writing, William.
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Thank you for reading and especially for sharing this with me.