Fear is the most destructive of human emotions, in my opinion. It can be fear on a purely personal level or fear held by the masses and played on by politicians and the media for their own ends. This fear of the masses can lead to radical behaviours, the rise to power of people such as Trump and in my country Pauline Hansen, and the average nice person feeling anger and hatred towards certain sectors within our society.
With my young nephews staying I can see the effect that constant broadcasting of horrific world events has on them. It has become obvious to me that children are no longer free to be children. Luckily my nephews seem to know that individuals are people just like themselves with the same needs and desires, pains and hurts. I guess that is helped by them living in Geneva where they have first hand contact with many nationalities and are close to the agencies that are trying to minimise the differences in health care between countries, advance human rights and world peace. Despite this – they are still scared.
It is because people are afraid that they latch on to those that have radical ideas that violate the conventions of human rights, advocating fences being built to keep people out, mandatory detention and many more. I believe however that these radical ideas just create more fear in the societies they are aimed at and create a huge disparity between people. What must it be like being a Moslem in a world that hates you. What must it be like to be a Christian yet have a name like Ahmed, Hussein. Is it any wonder that children growing up in families that are not radical islam see atrocities to other moslems and also have to deal with hatred towards themselves. Is it any wonder that some will turn to radicalism as they become the oppressed.
I think out media have a lot to answer for. I know that many will disagree with me but I believe that people’s tragedy sells papers, especially terrorism so every incident that occurs is depicted as an act of terrorism. Take the siege in the Lindt café. A sole person with a known history of violence and mental health problems. The maniac in Nice. Also a man with known mental health issues. By reporting these incidences as acts of terrorism rather than the actions of sick madmen we are feeding the fear in western civilisation and making ISIS and other organisations appear more terrifying than they are. These organisations attract the weak minorities and those that are sick because because it allows them to latch on. Being part of a gang can make them feel as though they are part of something. That they are not alone. That they are not just thugs and outcasts in society. Although I believe in freedom of the Press I also believe that the Press should be responsible in their reporting. Yes, these incidents should be reported but not over-reported. They should not focus on the radical groups. I feel that the media is serving the radicals by adding to the fear of the people.
The politicians are the same. It suits them to wind up their constituents fear. In my lifetime in Australia I have seen this tactic from our pollies time and time again.
Sadly it often hinges on racism, religion and political beliefs . We’ve had the yellow peril, reds under the bed, boat people and now refugees.
I came across Waleed Aly’s youtube and it spoke to me and I needed to share it.
I know that many will have different view points but ask yourself if you are speaking from fear. I too am afraid but I don’t see our current methods working. I see a world degenerating into a world which makes me more afraid.
I have been saying for a long time now – I would like to have a debate on what kind of world we want to live in. Britain has started that debate with Brexit. In the States and elsewhere Black Lives do matter. Perhaps gun control is a place to start. With fewer people armed perhaps the police would not be so frightened. Again it is fear that makes them hit the trigger quickly.
We have to work out ways of lessening our fear and it would seem to me that holding out hands in friendship would be a good place to start.