Fearless Change

Fear unchecked is a breeding ground for violence.

This is what we are seeing around the globe and, most disturbingly, here in the U.S.   It’s particularly apparent in our youth.  This past weekend Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Detroit, the District of Columbia, and even Kansas City were plagued by teen flash mobs, stabbings and even murders. It’s fair to say we are on the verge of, or in the throes of, an epidemic of violence among our youth.


I think there is an identifiable cause, as well as an ongoing influence, that we can point to as being at the heart of this phenomenon.

The cause is fear. As we go through remarkable changes that are taking place on every level of existence, each of us is facing the unknown.  With so much breaking down around us, there is a palpable undercurrent of fear emerging across the globe as we struggle to identify new solutions in these changing times.  We humans 1) like to rely on what is familiar and 2) we like permanence.

During periods of rapid change, familiarity is anathema and anything resembling permanence is impossible.

Add to this fear the desire of those historically in positions of power to retain that power and you have the aggravating influence that progresses fear to violence.

The best way to hold onto power is to frighten those for whom you are responsible into believing that they need you to keep them safe. As violence erupts in our cities, it is the powers that be that we will call upon to quell it… thus inadvertently re-establishing and re-legitimizing their control.

Gandhi knew the answer.  It was peaceful resistance not violent overthrow.  Violence begets violence.  It’s just a matter of time.  But the peaceful exertion of intractable resistance in the form of certainty is transformative.

Do not buy into fear and anger expressed as violence.  The young are merely a reflection… a visible “acting out” of what they feel happening around them. We, around the globe, have abdicated personal responsibility for ourselves and we have abdicated responsibility for our children. Children without guidance, boundaries and the benefit of wisdom from responsible adults have no concept of the proper use of power.  To them, force is the most expeditious solution.

Start in your home and in your communities by being an example of navigating change without fear and by setting boundaries that define, by the choices you make, peace as a priority above all else.

Then you can light the way through this temporary darkness.


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