“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me danger is very real but fear is a choice.”
From the movie After Earth
Fear is a choice, and we must not only refuse fear ourselves, but must help others see they don’t need to fear either.
Our social hot button issues are driven by making people fearful. People fear what they don’t understand. People often fear those who are different than they are, simply because they don’t know them and their lifestyles. Politicians in particular prey on people’s fears in order to manipulate people to support their fear-based policies.
Education and experience of being together in community are how to combat fear. When those who are fearful get to know those they don’t know, or gain an understanding of what they don’t understand, there is no longer any basis for the (choice of) fear.
So be fearless yourself, and strive to show others they don’t need to choose fear, either.
“All it requires is that our generation be willing to do what those who came before us have done: to rise above the cynicism and rise above the fear, to hold fast to our values, to see ourselves in each other, to cherish dignity and opportunity not just for our own children but for somebody else’s child. To remember that our freedom is bound up with the freedom of others — regardless of what they look like or where they come from or what their last name is or what faith they practice…” President Barack Obama, on the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery, December 9, 2015