For the first time in my life, I felt real fear in my heart last week. A real fear that runs chillingly cold down my spine. Right into my very bones. It has paralyzed my heart, and has driven the very optimistic me into a pessimistic mess.
- I’m not talking about the type of fear like phobia about spiders or snakes
- NOT the type of fear like going on a roller coaster or walking into a haunted house
- NOT the type of fear like the fear of failure and disappointment.
All of which I have experienced in my lifetime and have come out luckily somewhat unscathed.
No, this fear I feel is much more pronounced, with greater intensity mixed with a bottomless despair, and has hit me with a much harder force.
- It is the fear that is mixed with utter hopelessness and despair that the world has turned on itself
- The mounting fear that we are waiting on the edge of a battle that we cannot escape
- The fear a mother feels when she knows that her family will be in imminent danger
The result of the US election may have been the catalyst for this intense fear, but the recent world events have seen it brewing and bubbling up to the surface for a while. I’m not American or British, but I am a citizen of this world. All these events or states of affairs: discord in the EU, the uncertainty of Brexit, the conquering ambition of Russia, the terror of ISIS, the atrocities in Syria, the deadly conflicts in Africa, the never-ending violence & instability of the Middle East, the troubling developments in Turkey, the brewing South China Sea conflict, the consolidation of power and control in China, the independence talks in Hong Kong and Taiwan, the weak leadership in South Korea, the unpredictability of North Korea and Trump’s US isolationist stance and unpredictable policies – cannot and should not be viewed in isolation.
It’s like the game of Jenga: each of these global events and states of affairs is a Jenga piece which are all haphazardly and weakly stacked on top of each other. More and more of these continue to stack up, and when one or more start to wobble and tumble, the entire Jenga tower will come crashing down causing a terrifying rippling effect to every corner of this world.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Everywhere across the world – we must act and do something!! It is our duty as a member of this earth to do our part, however small, in stopping this madness from spiraling out of control.
I am no world leader nor an advocate. I’m not built, nor brave or visionary enough to do “BIG” things. My line of work does not quite help in this area. What can I do to make a difference, if not only the slightest?
Upon reflection, I circled back to the grass root – to my role and responsibility as a parent. In this crazy unpredictable world where “common sense” and “common decency” are no longer “common” anymore, it is more imperative than ever that we instill in our boys:
- The importance of having integrity, respect and upholding core values
- The ways to be compassionate, understanding and to have an open embracing heart
- The beauty of inspiring unconditional love and loving our neighbors
- What it means by gaining strength in unity and diversity
- The practice of tolerance and acceptance
There are so many ways to teach these to our boys, but the best (and often the hardest) ways for us to teach are to lead by example. It will not be easy. It will not be smooth sailing. We will face tears, backlash and resistance. It is us against the world, where we are desperately swimming against the tides, the waves are ever higher and stronger, beating us back, threatening to drown out our efforts.
As the world is going down an unprecedented self-destructive path, our only shield against fear is in hope itself.
“Hope is the only thing stronger than Fear”
I still believe there is a lot of good left in this world that is worth fighting for – I sincerely hope and pray that if all of us (mommies, daddies, teachers, grandparents etc) show and spread the messages of love, compassion, tolerance, integrity and humility to our children every day, we can collectively beat back those overwhelming tides coming right at us.
Then perhaps I can draw strength and optimism from this hope and let it pierce through this chilling fear that seems to have consumed me of late.