Fear as a Gateway to Change*

To my brothers and sisters on this planet we call earth: for all of us to live together and be able to move forward, for our children and our children’s children, we must really look deeply at the fuel behind fear/distrust/hate/stereotypes.

occupylove-velcrow-ripperWe must recognize this deficiency is common and a human one. We must look to ways to address it. I want to say we need to talk to each other, learn about each other, to seek out those who are different than us with an open heart and open mind (in words of a neighbor last night). To assume nothing personal and to assume we all have a place at the table (ourselves as much as the Other.)

The Other so easily becomes interchangeable with the polarity that we sit across from in opposition is a ghost, our shadow self.

First meeting with neighbors about how land may be used by Occupy Madison Inc. on the property purchased recently. Met with mixed results/responses from folks — some excited, some very concerned, some using stereotypes. I am always surprised by how fear feeds separation & judgment, and even from liberal Madison folks. The wonderful thing about occupy madison is it has always encouraged dialogue and engaging in community to reduce those preconceptions. Hopefully we’ll see some evolvement on that here. For more info: http://occupymadisoninc.com/

“This suggests that the guilt of mistaking individuals for their group stereotype—such as falsely believing an Arab is a terrorist—can lead to the breakdown of the belief in that stereotype. Unfortunately, such stereotypes are reinforced so often that they can become ingrained. It is difficult to escape conventional wisdom and treat all people as individuals, rather than members of a group. But that seems to be the best way to avoid the trap of dividing the world in two—and discriminating against one part of humanity.” from Why We Fear the Unknown for more info

* The title comes directly from my friend Mary Jo, whose comment on this was: “I like fear, its a gateway to change”



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