We live in a world where, with the flick of our thumb our phone, iPads, etc., can connect up to people half a world away. You can actually see the person’s face. Thousands of miles away! For some, the idea isn’t so farfetched. For many of us, the concept is still kind of mind-blowing.
But, for all the amazing technology at our fingertips, I see a world filled with fear and mistrust. You’d think the more information at our disposal, the better we’d get along. Just the opposite seems to be true. We’ve developed a bunker mentality where we hunker down with the same new stations, the same websites—the same one-sided slant. Because the world is scary, we want to listen to people who think like us and share our same principles. And often, like the idea or not, the same prejudices.
Here’s a concept—not so novel. Knowledge, my friends, is power. What we fear most is the unknown. The monster in the shadows.
Let me give you an example. A child is terrified of the dark, certain the boogeyman lurks under her bed. She cowers under the covers, cries for her mommy and daddy. They comfort her, but the next night, her terror returns. What’s the solution? Her parents shine a light under her bed. Night after night until the unknown becomes familiar. Understandable. Finally, she has the knowledge to put aside her fears and get a good night’s sleep.
In a way, nothing changes as we grow into adults. What do we fear most? Simple. We fear people who are different. Different color. Different ethnicity. Different religion. Even different political affiliations. Our fears are fed by the television we watch and the websites. News outlets that feed out worries and insecurities.
My suggestion? Pick up a book by someone with different ideas than yours. Talk to your neighbors. Ask questions. Open your mind—and your heart.
I don’t have a no-fail solution. However, like the child scared of the boogeyman, if we shine some light on our fear, the monster might not be so monstrous after all.
After all. Everything looks better when we walk out of the shadow and into the light of day.