Getting over my fears has been one of the biggest hurdles of my life. I was born in fear. It is likely one of the first emotions instilled in me. What fear does is restrict and confine. It kills creativity and silences debate and free thought.
I am ruminating about these things as read that Malala Yousufzai, the young girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban, has had a successful surgery but remains in critical condition. Let’s all send our thoughts and prayers to her for a speedy and full recovery. I know at the age of 14, I was ruled by the fears that bound me. I admire this young girl so very much for laying down the gauntlet and saying that it’s not acceptable to be treated in the manner that young girls and women are in Middle East. That they deserve equal footing, an education and the same rights and privileges that men do. This is a world-wide issue for women everywhere, as even in the Western world, we are still not on equal footing with our counterparts.
Understand too, that fear is what was instilled in the men who took it upon themselves to shoot and try to silence her. It is not some sort of power or bravado that drives them. It is fear.
Fear of their God.
This for me is one of the most fundamentally incorrect statements ever uttered by religious leaders. Why should I fear God?
Yet these young men are taken as boys and fed a barrage of hate which masquerades as religious training. But teaching someone to blow themselves up and take as many infidels with you or shoot to kill for the sake of appeasing your God…well, sorry. I don’t buy it.
These young men come out of this tormented state fearing the world around them. Anyone who does not agree with their ideology is considered a threat and must be eliminated.
Very sad that this is allowed to continue under the name of religion.
I have met people from every religion. Good, beautiful people who worship regularly. They don’t fear me nor I them, despite our different points of views. I have met many people who have walked away from the faith they were raised in and I have known people who have found solace in a different faith.
The beauty of it is, there is always a respect shown and given. No judgements are passed. Believe what you will, as long as your heart is in a peaceful and loving place, that is what matters. And a person who goes out and willfully shoots someone in the head does not have their heart in a peaceful and loving place.
For a very long time I existed within the confines of fear. Then the question that kept coming up was “What are you afraid of?” And you know, I couldn’t answer right away. It was a line of thinking that had simply never allowed me to look beyond the chains that bound. And when I did venture out and begin to look beyond the realm of fear, what I found was so very beautiful.
That said, fear doesn’t let you go that easily. It will still creep up ever so subtly to work its way back into the recesses of your thoughts.
I have been thinking about a silent protest. Now, I am somewhat ambivalent about the use of that word. Protests are, by their very nature, confrontational which can lead to heated temperaments and violent interactions. So perhaps I should say just a silent gathering.
Here is the idea. Everyone who reads this post, please share the idea that on Sunday, October 14th, 2012 at 11:00 AM go outside of your home. Gaze up at the sky and offer your heartfelt prayers and wishes to Malala for a speedy recovery but also offer a prayer to the young men who did this that they might find peace and guidance. I know that many will find it abhorrent to offer such sentiments in the face of such a horrific act, yet a part of me feels we must somehow let these young men see past their fear. Perhaps this is a start in offering our energy to assist them in this endeavour.
I don’t know. It’s just a thought, but I am going to do it. I hope you will join me.