“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune
Today's prompt is it write about a time that I've benefitted from the kindness of a stranger. Most of the times when I've been helped by a stranger involve food and money. There have been several times when I left my wallet at home and so the cashier paid for my food anyway. I have always been very grateful in those situations. Fairly recently, I was at a supermarket with a good friend when she found to her dismay that the store would not take debit cards and she did not have enough money on her credit card to pay for all of her food. As she started to put food back, the woman behind her in line decided to pay for all the discarded food and gave it to my friend. We were both overcome by happiness at the generosity of this stranger. Moments like that remind me of the positive affirmation that I wrote in my altered book last year:
The world is often friendlier than I think it is.
As a small female, I have been raised to view the world as dangerous - there might be a rapist, stalker, or molester around every corner. And the world is dangerous, it is true, but it is also true that living in fear keeps us in a cage that we can never escape, even if in the open air. It is also true that while there are aspects of this world that are much worse than we would like to imagine, there are aspects of this world and its people that are much better. Of course, we must always fight for justice, but if we fight so hard that we become jaded then we have lost our soul and what good is a just world if we are but empty shells of who we are called to be?
The answer is balance - to remember the good while fighting for justice from the bad.
My upbringing taught me to fear and when I am depressed, these fears are strengthened. I am anxious and fearful of everyone's reaction to me, but my fear becomes my own worst enemy. I need these random acts of kindness to remind me of the goodness that is in everybody and in this creation. To remind me that more people than not want me to do well, be productive and happy. I need to be strengthened by recognizing goodness when I see it than to be weakened by dwelling in a place of fear.
Right now, there is backlash against the strides that have been gained by the LGBT community by "religious freedom" acts being passed at an alarming rate. What we need is for unity - for the haters on both sides to realize that we are more alike than different and that trying to separate us from another will only serve to divide us rather than bring us together. There is a Christian song that says, "We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord/And we pray that all unity may one day be restored./And they'll know we are Christians by our love." Well, right now, people do not know we are Christians by our love and these "Christians" are not working towards unity. I urge these right-wing Christians to look for the inherent good in us all, to actually follow Jesus' call for unity and to live into truly loving one another, not in the fear that is evident in the media.
These random acts of kindness remind me of our similarities-let us continue to be kind, even when it is hard, for it is the way to live in liberation.