I understand fear, and just how crippling an affect it can have on people-I get it. What I don’t get are fears built on ignorance. Donald Trump incites fear in people; fear of Mexicans, “rapists” and “criminals,” fear of America crumbling to her knees, fear of Muslims and terrorists. His campaign depends upon people being afraid. I guess it’s a strategy, and it seems to be working, unfortunately, and it seems to be working rather well.
People are afraid of so many things they have no reason to be afraid of. Someone please explain to me why a transgender person using the bathroom of the sex he or she identifies with is something to be afraid of? People need to pee, and shouldn’t a person be able to use a bathroom that aligns with their gender identity? But people are afraid…
Or gay marriage? Why on earth does anyone care? Why is anyone afraid of gays getting married? I say if you don’t like the idea of gay marriage, well then don’t go to a gay wedding or don’t have a gay wedding. But, to be fearful and angry about someone else’s choice of life partner-why? It often comes down to religious beliefs, and I have to wonder why anyone who claims to love God would be afraid of a person’s religion. I’ve noticed how many religious people tend to truly disdain and fear people who are of a different faith. Seems to me, if you love God, well, that should unite people of differing faiths, not divide them- but obviously, I’m wrong about that.
I read a fairy tale about a girl named Rosaline, it’s cute, short and sweet, and it revolves around two lesbian girls. I have to wonder how many parents won’t read it to their children? I would wager a lot, because they are afraid of talking about homosexuality. Why? Why is homosexuality something to be afraid of? If a kid sees a heterosexual couple kissing, how often do you see parents avert their kids from watching? Sometimes, maybe, but if a homosexual couple is kissing I have seen parents do everything they can to turn their kids away, simply to avoid being asked why two people of the same sex are kissing. What are they afraid of?
Simple things, like body parts – when my son was in preschool and I had a parent-teacher conference, the teacher wanted to know why my son called his penis, a “penis.” I answered, “Because that’s what it is.” Like, duh. But most of the kids in his preschool class had no idea what it was called, they all had cute little names for it, and I just wanted to ask the parents, “WHY?” Why would anyone be afraid to call a body part what it is? Amazingly, every kid called his or her knee, a “knee.” Go figure.
I guess I just don’t understand being afraid of every day normal things. I don’t understand parents not answering a child’s question about anything. If a kid is old enough to ask the question, in my opinion, the kid is old enough for an honest answer. “Where do babies come from?” doesn’t have to be answered with a medical text in hand, but simply and honestly, appropriate to the age of the kid asking.
Why is their so much fear around us? Why is there so much learned fear? Fear that is cultivated, grown, and nurtured, like the fear of other cultures, skin color, fear of homosexuality, fear of education and fear of anyone or anything that is different? No child is born afraid of someone with a different skin tone, or someone who worships God in a different way, or even walking across a busy street, something a child should be fearful of. There is a time and place to hold your kids tightly by the hand and tell them to be afraid. Fearing a rattlesnake or a black widow, I understand. (And I’m sure there are people who would explain to me why I don’t need to fear either one, but I would argue I was bitten by a rattlesnake when I was a kid so my fear is justified. But then, fearing all rattlesnakes just because I was bitten by one…) But the kind of fear, anger and blatant hostility Donald Trump brings out in people, or the fear my son’s preschool teacher had because a child called a “penis” well, a “penis,” all the nasty, hateful, fears that are taught, and reinforced by small-minded bigoted, or self-righteous fools, those are the fears I’m so fearful of.