Like in the rock-paper-scissors game, there are three positive attitudes that can conquer three common negative ones. Just as paper covers rock, the positive attitudes are capable of destroying the negative. I thought I’m calling the 3 negative ones the terrestrial trio and the three positive ones the celestial triad.
So, Fear is the first in terrestrial trio and it can be covered by the celestial triad principle of Trust.
Fear is a basic human reaction to danger. It keeps us safe and it is very sensitive… You don’t want the rustling brush to be hiding a saber-tooth tiger. So, to play it safe, humans are really good at finding things to fear.
Unfortunately, that biological machinery is way more powerful than people need in the modern world. Everyone can imagine the worst really easily. They give that fear a reality and power that the cynical and powerful can use to control the fearful.
People in recovery say that fear is a lack of faith.
One aspect of faith is trust. You trust that God and your companions will care for you. You treat your neighbor as you would like to be treated. In doing that, you trust that they will be reasonable. You recognize the ways that people are similar more than you notice how they are different.
When you are afraid of someone, you inherently don’t trust them. But trust is an essential part of society. Without trust, the mechanics of a society break down.
To look at the civil rights movement, it wasn’t just Rosa Parks resisting segregation on that bus. It was a whole host of uncelebrated people that worked together to make the Montgomery Bus Boycott work. The workers in that fight were organized. They had a strategy. They had specific goals. They trusted their cause and (especially) the others working with them.
When people go out to the streets to protest, they cannot change things in the ways that trust can accomplish. A group grounded in trust can help leader’s fears can fall to the side as they grow a shared trust.
Leaders that feel trust will compromise, work in the solution and develop creative answers. When you work with people that you trust, you can be organized and have a long-lasting impact.
So, getting back to the topic, with fear, you are separate and full of discord. The expression divide and conquer exists for a reason. When people act out of fear, they don’t have a base for cooperation and can be easily manipulated.
By using the spiritual principle of Trust instead of the untameable reaction of Fear, unity can develop. Fear can’t develop a way forward because it is looking back. Vision and insight that are rooted in trust can lead to change and success.
Original image: Saber-tooth tiger. By davlenjah [Image license]
[2016-07-15: edit and revision]