I don’t know what to say.
The world is a cruel and unforgiving place even at the best of times, and these are far from the best – or so it seems. Hate, prejudice and most of all fear have their grip on so many humans of today and direct their words, actions and views.
Fear has a taken a strong hold on people all over the world.
We’ve had several cases in the past week where cops have shot low- or non-threat suspects, motivated by fear, with subsequent retaliations only masking a bad situation worse.
We’ve seen British people vote for something many did not understand fully, and the subsequent reactions of hate and regret.
For years we’ve seen the rise of right wing nationalist and neo-fascist tendencies all over the western world, fuelled by fears real and imagined.
We’ve seen a violent and misofynistic cult of mascuöinity rise as a counter to equality and feminism.
We’ve seen the rise of conspiracy theories ranging from the plausible to the ludicrous, fuelled by a deep mistrust of government, science and authority.
We think we live in a modern, enlightened society, yet again and again we fall back on ancient tribal behaviours.
Again and again we fall back on an ‘us be them’ mentality where we vilify and fear those who are different. Where one we stood united as nations we are now seemingly dividing into smaller and smaller groups, using the modern tools of media and communication to find new tribes that can span over the entire globe.
People and organizations are constantly preying on our fears and weaknesses, using false information and exaggerate claims to manipulate us into supporting them. Our fear is their power.
In this Disinformation Age we inhabit, fear can make us believe anything it seems.
Where one people aimed their fears and superstitions on the unseen and unknown , imagining supernatural threats and creating personal rituals to avoid bad luck and unfortunate tragedies, today people aim their fear on the visible, reacting with fear and superstition to things we could just as easily embrace and understand.
And the world suffers for it.
While we squabble and huddle together around virtual campfires, afraid of everything beyond the edge of the skewed and distorted light, the world is careening out of control around us. The rich get richer at the expense of the poor, environmental problems keep piling up, social issues are getting worse and worse, and nations are crumbling under the weight of their own ignorance.
Or personal safety zones are getting smaller as the perceivable world gets bigger and more complicated around us.
It has to stop.
We can’t let fear rule our lives, our nations, our world. If we do, we will break apart even further and the only ones who will benefit are those who can turn our fear into their profit.
But how do we turn the trend?