Monday, May 7, 2018

Fear - on a College Admissions Tour?

Some have suggested that college campuses are just a reflection of the society we serve. That certainly proved to be the case at Colorado State this past week:
The Admissions Tour That Went Horribly Wrong
I encourage you to read through this article, or at least the facts at the top. The basic facts are these:

1) A parent on an admissions tour at Colorado State University called campus police to report two people (both Native Americans) who came late to the tour, whom she considered out of place
2) The campus police arrived, briefly detained the students for questioning, and then released them. The students were cooperative throughout.
3) Because of the delay, the students missed the tour and returned empty-handed to New Mexico - a seven hour round trip essentially for nothing.

Lots of the issues we're used to seeing these days surface here, including the selective use of law enforcement and the apparent pervasiveness of racism in our society. None of this is particularly new.

I call attention to this story only because it points once again to the root problem: Fear. This woman called police because she was afraid - afraid of people who looked different, who dressed different, who acted in ways she did not expect. Afraid, in her mind, of what they might do if allowed to roam unchecked. This was nothing but simple, irrational, soul-crushing fear.

In one sense, I feel sorry for this woman. What must it be like to go through life so afraid of your fellow human beings - your fellow Americans who walk the same streets, shop in the same stores, visit the same college campuses - that you feel the need for police protection simply because someone is near you? That must be absolutely awful.

And although she likely doesn't see it this way, it's a condition that's entirely self-inflicted. She can walk away from her fear at any time. Nothing needs to change - only her way of seeing the world.

I know that's not easy. But it's far easier than many of the other things we strive for. For each of us, our fear is entirely under our own control - if only we can see it that way.

Not for nothing, I suspect, is the most common commandment in the Bible: "Do not be afraid". No one ever made a good decision out of fear. This woman certainly didn't.

And so again is Yoda proved right:

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