In New York as elsewhere, every day people willfully put their lives into other people’s hands. The young man crossing the street against the light puts his life into the hands of the driver bearing down on him. I want to scream at him for doing that. But I can understand it.
I read someone’s blog today who blamed the government for the assassination of MLK. But to me, it wasn’t the case then, and it isn’t now. It’s fear, the kind that twists the soul, the kind that says someone else has the power to destroy your life. It was true of James Earl Ray and it’s behind many of the actions of the present leadership of our nation.
There is only one way I know of to fight fear. Trust. Think for a minute – isn’t it lack of trust that stirs our fear and hatred in our everyday life? I don’t trust my neighbor to care about me — she slams the door when she leaves her apt and once took my clothes out of the dryer before they were dry so she could put her clothes in. Small things, but I view her through the lens of those actions and react to her as someone who has the power to fuck up my life, and so should be feared and hated.
How can trust fight that? What kind of trust can get me through that?
Only one I know of. Trust in myself. If I have trust that I can accomplish what I want to in life, then I don’t need to over-worry about the detours I must go around to get there or over-react to the people who put them there — whether it’s Con Ed’s work crews, my neighbor’s occasional Machiavellian schemes, a niece’s forgetting the mayonnaise I need, or even the government’s latest machinations.
Does trust in myself mean I don’t ever lean on others, fight for a cause or confront someone about their mistreatment or misdeeds? No, of course not. From a strong foundation of belief in myself I am more open to help and support and more able to fight and confront effectively when doing so allows me accomplish what’s vital to my life.
But it also means I can go easy on people as I do those things. I can even see a way to go easier on the world.