Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fear, cowardice and race

The truth can't hurt you, it's just like the dark
It scares you witless
But in time you see things clear and stark
e. costello

Is fearing for one's life or safety a valid justification for the use of force against another individual?  Th assessment of the fear's validity and the appropriate response must  outweigh the power of dread and the convenience of cowardice, or tragedy will surely follow.

Fear is a primary and forceful motivator.  It can lead one through difficult and dangerous decisions;
pushing an individual beyond perceived boundaries and limitations,  The sheer power of fear, however, can also overwhelm conscious thought, and personal conscience; leading to destructive and self defeating behaviors.

Fear, in itself, is neither good nor evil, rather, it is one's mode of coping with this emotion that is either commendable or deplorable.  While most find some pleasurable excitement stimulating, unbridled and unmitigated fear is both deeply unpleasant, and detrimental to daily life.  Finding an effective strategy  to deal with the kinds of apprehension that populate social interaction is crucial; especially when it is being used by unscrupulous emotional manipulators.  For when cowardice infects fear, hate easily festers and quickly poisons its unhappy host.

Whereas fear often springs up spontaneously, marketable hatred must be carefully cultivated if it is to bear its bitter by-products.  Training someone to deny their responsibility in managing their fear requires both a pandering to pride and an appeal to ignorance.

First, comes the denial of the source of fear; it must be cloaked with a rationalization to hide its true nature.  Thus, the dread that surfaces when one views a face of a different hue arises from a supposed knowledge of the criminal and immoral nature of such individuals; not from a prejudice gleaned from years of superficial  media depictions of such groups as less than fully human.

With such willful ignorance fully embraced, hating easily becomes a moral obligation, rather than a personal indulgence; and empathy and compassion morph into deplorable vices.  To view people outside of such preconceived notions is seen as tantamount to the appeasement of evil; an inability to "face facts" concerning the "true nature" of the individuals in question.  Lacking the personal courage to objectively analyze one's own feelings and motives allows cowardice to dictate action, and vindictive and punitive measures take the form of reasonable responses.  Seeking to banish fear by wielding hate and violence leads inexorably to more fear; for without an understanding of the source of dread, its power only grows.

If one cannot face the truth about himself, the capacity for realistic evaluation of others diminishes.  A starting point for self awareness hinges upon recognizing unpleasant realities that exist within us; otherwise, the tendency to project these abhorred tendencies to others becomes a threat.
It is the face in the mirror that should inspire the greater fear; for ignorance of ourselves poses a danger immediate and destructive, and this can not be segregated away.