In times of uncertainty we most often tend to search for concrete answers—answers to those things that give us cause for stress and even fear.
Answers, however, tend to lead to more questions. And more questions tend to lead to more uncertainty and fear.
You see the circle?
It is comforting, though, to know that we have clarity, or even wisdom on a given situation. So searching for answers has the potential to bring comfort, if even the comfort is fleeting.
Living in a country in which critical thinking is at an all time low, we have a choice of either accepting the dominant narrative or fighting against it. One way brings heaping doses of fear, the other brings heaping doses of fear.
Buddhists advocate for the middle ground—not good, not bad, just be.
There is something to be said for that, only, for many of us, there is something deep within that drives us forward, ever searching for answers, for clarity, for understanding, for the searing truth with the potential to blaze a new trail leaving a fiery path for others to follow from confusion to clarity, from conflict to peace, and from living in the dark to awakening to the dawn of a new era of utopia.
“Oh!” you say. “You’re an idealist!” As though being an idealist is an indictment.
The research is all there. It’s been there for decades. We know that beneath anger is fear, beneath violence is extreme fear. We know that beneath egoism is a little boy or a little girl desperate for love.
We also know that people are most profoundly motivated when they are given a purpose greater than themselves. And we know that people get passionate about being apart of something bigger than themselves.
Why then, do we accept truths, which stimulate our fear and anger?
Is it not easier to care deeply for others, even those who suffer the fear and anger of disagreeing with us?