jueves, 20 de enero de 2011

Being afraid is a very bad habit

I am sure most of you have read something about the political situation in Lebanon. From a governance, historical, political, and social point of view, what we are witnessing in Lebanon is just reaching levels of complexity that few fully understand.

But I am not here to do a situation analysis. The environment in the streets is tense for sure. There are tanks in the corners of the streets, we get security briefings at the office, friends and family send e-mails to check (rightfully so, after reading the news) if we are safe.

We are safe. We are safe. We are safe.

But what is this concept, being safe? What does it mean?

Most of us have it that being safe is a result of circumstances. We are little kids in a confined privileged bubble, where no one can harm us. And we pray no one will come and shatter our safety illusion. Yes, safety is an illusion. Safety is nothing more than a simple illusion of control over our environment, and a way of separating ourselves from others who are "unsafe".
Just ask yourself: Do you feel safe among people who look like you, and unsafe among people who don't? Do you feel safe in familiar environments and unsafe in new territories?

You could argue "But everyone is saying Lebanon (or Mexico for that matter) is unsafe". How can I feel safe in a place where everyone thinks is unsafe?
Well, we can choose to be safe. We can hear all the rumors, gossip and feel the fear and still make a conscious choice of being safe. It is a choice.

The easiest thing we can do right now is being afraid. It is so easy to be afraid. And it is also very easy to be controlled when we are afraid. Do we want to be agents of fear in this world or agents of peace? Because as I can choose to be safe, I can also choose to be peaceful. I can quit that bad habit on mine, of being afraid of others. I can just choose to be OK.

What is this situation in Lebanon, in Mexico, in Tunisia, in Iraq, or in Afghanistan other that one group being afraid of another group?

By the way, I am not minimizing the ability of one person to harm another one. I am not either advocating for putting ourselves in harm's way. I am just saying, let us think clearly, with our eyes open, our feet on the ground, our brain alert, our heart open. This is no time in the world to be afraid and isolated in a cocoon of safety. This is no time to go to our corner and hope that someone "in power" will make it OK.

With our individual actions, we can do something in our everyday lives that will contribute to world's peace. We can smile, be kind, be tolerant, be humble, be willing to learn, be willing to talk to someone who makes us uncomfortable or angry, be willing to give up our right to be right.

I invite us all to take action. A loving, fun or kind action. In Lebanon, in Mexico, in Iraq, everywhere. And to make a resolution of quitting our fear habit. Being afraid is a terrible habit. Why don't we just get used to be safe and peaceful instead? Let's do it everyday, especially today.

1 comentario: