“… isn’t fear the true basis of intolerance?” Anon
We are coming up on the one-year mark from when the President came on the television and told us to stay put, “14 Days to Slow the Spread.” Little did we know that 14 days would spread to over 12 months (so far). Fear, like a blanket, spread over the globe.
Remember last Easter, when Andrea Boccelli sang for the world? Quietly we watched the video from our homes. We saw empty streets across the world. Everyone huddled inside. The Italian ICUs were full. The Italian doctors, like God, decided who is treated and lives, and who isn’t treated and dies.
The President docked a Naval hospital ship near New York City at the Mayor’s behest to avoid the same problem Italy faced. A website ticked off the cases and the deaths. It felt like the black plague. The news started calling it “a deadly virus.” In other words, if you got COVID-19, you were going to die.
Then hope glimmered. Not everyone would die. We identified the susceptible population. Fauci told us to wear a face covering.
Others said that a face covering wouldn’t keep out the tiny germ that threatened to kill Gramma. Conflicting information flowed like dirty mop water. Confirmation bias fed the people, and fear became a virtue. “Stay safe,” “Stay healthy,”. These phrases became a part of our lexicon, replacing, “See ya later.”
Is it any wonder that violence erupted in the summer? Is it any wonder that the people would storm the Capitol building in the winter? We are terrified.
When we are terrified, we are completely intolerant.
“Wear a f**king mask!”
“The election was fraudulent!”
We used to be able to disagree with each other. We used to be able to have political discourse. But now, intolerance has silenced the people—especially those who follow Jesus, support Trump or who mourned over Rush Limbaugh’s death.
Only love can set us free
Only love can bear the truth
Only love can bring us peace
Only love can save me, and you
-Sophie B Hawkins
Sophie’s right. If we are to practice true tolerance and compassion for one another, we need to replace our fear with Love, Divine Love, Perfect Love. The Apostle John says, “Perfect love casts out all fear.” (1 John 4:18)
How do you do that? Get closer to the Source. Pray and meditate. Study yourself – your reactions, your emotions, as well as wise texts. Be curious as to why other people think the way that they do. When you’re connected to your God, you are complete. You don’t need to convince others that they are wrong, or silently judge them. Your heart will be at peace. You’ll be happier and more serene. It sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?
The pandemic is scary. The news, politicians, and social activists are feeding the fear. If we want to heal our nation, our world, it starts here. With you. With me. Peace in our land will come from the people choosing to love.
Just for today
When I start to feel the flutters of self-righteous anger or judgment surface, I’m going to take a breath and pause. In the pause, I will choose curiosity over judgment and love over fear.
I can’t do this on my own, God. I need your divine help. I’m only human, and I’m being bombarded by all kinds of news from the television and social networks. Give me your perfect love, allow it to flow through me so that I can share it with your other kids. Heal our nation and our world with your love.