Recently The Seattle P-I published a story about a taxi driver assaulted by a drunk 21 year-old during last year’s Apple Cup. The perpetrator’s motive? The driver, Sukhvir Singh, looked like an “Iraqi terrorist” – he was wearing a turban and had a long beard.
There are numerous holes in the “intellect” used to arbitrarily determine that Singh, actually a Sikh, was a terrorist – none of which are worth belaboring. What is worth mentioning is how powerful unchecked fear can be, especially when intoxicated or in a similar state of altered consciousness.
A spiritual teacher once told me that the sole purpose of fear is to protect one from bodily harm that may be caused by a clear and present threat – to act as the trigger for “fight or flight” mode. Using fear in any other way is harmful to the individual and to society as a whole.
The great majority of humanity’s problems can be traced to inappropriate use of fear. Pick any national or global problem that springs to mind and ask yourself what role fear plays in it. Then bring it down to the personal level and ask yourself, “What is one of my biggest fears?” and “What have I allowed this fear to take from me?” The answers might surprise you.