Ignorance: The Factory of FearOct 28, 2010
I couldn’t wait to write about the topic of this weeks blog. The nation was a buzz with the topic of Juan Williams from National Public Radio (NPR) getting fired for saying that he gets “nervous and fearful” when he sees a Muslim in full garb getting on a plane. When he said that on a Fox News nightly show, it didn’t really evolve into a controversy until the next morning when he got fired.
I found it interesting when the nation was talking about what he said and if he should of said it? They were asking such things like, “Was it because he said it on a conservative news station as opposed to a liberal one. (doesn’t it seem like it should be the other way around?) He was fired from his correspondence job as a contributor and journalist at NPR. He worked there for ten years.
The media was then asking if American’s are getting too politically correct? Have we lost our individualism to pursue through political correctness? Was it that Juan Williams was not liberal enough for NPR? There were so many other things that were talked about with the media, but they have failed to capitalize on an important fact.
Frankly, it wasn’t the context of what Juan Williams said, it was his content. No one really commented on the content. The fact that he gets afraid when he sees a Muslim get on a plane has been disregarded. Its not that what he said that’s a bad thing, in my opinion, the question should be “what does it mean?”
Thats the real issue. Juan’s fear is nothing more than what millions of American’s feel regarding the same issue. If Juan would of said that just after 9/11, nothing would of been said about it. It’s the fear I want to examine and hence what I feel is the real lesson here.
The fear that Juan talked about is experienced by many. I have had that experience as I travel. I believe that the ignorance of not understanding Muslims or anything else we are involved in produces fear as the outcome, just like a factory. I have thought about that and realized that fear is overcome by knowledge. The feeling of fear should be a calling of sorts to know more about the situation.
We all have fears. Fear of inadequacy. Fear of success. Fear of death. Fear of life. When you experience those fears, look to education. Try to find out information about the very thing that you are in fear of. Step into the fear.
Try listing three fears that you have. Then, list five things for each fear that you can do to learn more about it. Or set up a project that will help you understand more about the fear. The whole Juan Williams episode made me relate to Juan and his fears. I have decided to commit to a project in November for myself.
I figured it was time to learn more about the Muslim faith. I know that all Muslims are not extremists. I feel a better understanding of the faith by all will diminish any fears that arise.
In November, I am going to visit a service at a mosque. In thinking about going to the mosque, I figured it would be a good idea to understand all the major religions of the world. So, I will be going to a service for them all. (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism) I will use the Thanksgiving time to reflect and be thankful for our world’s diversity. (Maybe Juan would like to go with me?)
How do you expect to grow if you only deal with what you know? I am excited for my mission. I also think by learning about other faiths, I will be better able to understand the world we live in. Then, and only then, can one approach the challenges without fear and be able to provide solutions that benefit all.
“Remember, wealth has nothing to do with money, success has everything to do with failure and life is as simple as you want to make it!”– John Dessauer
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