Choosing love rather than fear as a response to acts of terror
It is not wrong or unnatural to feel fearful after an atrocity like what we saw in Paris this weekend.
Fear is a vital human emotion that has played a significant role in the ongoing survival of our species.
But, despite the importance of fear, it is a terrible emotion to allow to steer the ship when it comes to decision making – whether personal or political.
Fear is rarely rational. Fear exaggerates the sense of threat. Fear is quick to judge and to label and to separate.
Fear says, ‘The killers were all Muslim, therefore all Muslims are a threat.’
Fear takes us down to our most base of instincts: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
There is an alternative though. And that alternative is love.
Love is quick to forgive. Love sees the common humanity we all share, regardless of religion or ideology.
Love looks for what unites us rather than what divides us. Love doesn’t cave into fear when fear says that welcoming refugees could be an avenue for terrorists.
Why? Because every human life has value and is worthy of food, shelter, and refuge, regardless of the risks.
Love finds ways to say Yes and not No. Love engages. Love is not passive. Love casts out fear.
Love does not deny evil and it is not naive; it simply refuses to allow evil to have the last word.
Let’s choose love.