Fear, Anger, Hate – Or Trolling?

Back in the last century, Jedi Master Yoda said something that has been made a quote since. That has resonated with me ever since, and judging by today’s social media standards, it really seems to have been sage advice.

“Fear is the path to the dark side … fear leads to anger …  anger leads to hate … hate leads to suffering.”

Jedi Master Yoda, The Phantom Menace, 1999

In spite of those feelings leading down to the dark side, I believe that fear and anger can actuslly push us to become better people. For instance, if we have a phobia of something, we can actively strive to conquer that fear, proving ourselves that we are not prisoners of the situation, but, instead, we can work with it and become better, overcome the phobia. The same goes with anger – we can concentrate our anger towards a situation and turn the whole thing around to a positive outcome. So, not everything with these feelings has to be automatically negative.

Fear Is Normal?

Nowadays, it seems that every news we come across in newspapers or social media is crafted to make us feel afraid of something. That is one of the most efficient ways to click bait us. Other news are just purely spiteful and want our emotional reactions to align with that.

Remember the time back in early 2020, when COVID-19 really was something new and horrible. No one knew what kind of new virus was around. Governments reacted by lockdowns, and news showed us nurses and doctors in hazmat suits, and so on. Me and my family were in Spain at the time. As the surgical masks were bloody expensive at times, we believed in some advice from Facebook and put our masks in the oven. Some people went further and heated up their newspapers the same way as well as their masks.

At the same time, we rallied by clapping to frontliners every evening at 8 pm, and brought people moments of happiness by doing song performances with people from the local theatre (Salon In Your Salon) via Facebook. And refused to give in to fear.

These are just some small examples of conquering a common fearful situation, but what about when you are confronted by your own fears. From personal experience, I know it is not easy to face them and come out to the other side, unscathed. Let’s think of coming out from a closet.

Nowadays, you have plenty of internet material for coming out; stories that went well, and stories about cases that went horribly badly. So, of course, you turn instantly to those horrible ones, where the person was disowned, thrown out from their home, and were banned to see their family ever again. But when you do come out, in most cases, this isn’t what happens. Most cases are of the good kind. It is your personal fear that makes you convinced before anything is even said and done, that you will lose the support and love of those people whose love means the most to you. That fear can prevent you from opening up and even becoming the person who you are suppose to be.

Is it normal that some people need to “come out from the closet” to be a whole person? In my opinion, it may be a process required to be you, but should it be required at all? In the heterosexual side of the fence, this process of becoming you is normal, unquestioned, and doesn’t need an effort but for any LGBTQ person, the journey is far more complicated.

To help alleviate the fear and to ease up that long and winding journey, we all need to let the LGBTQ people know that it is ok to be who they are. This acknowledgement from us all helps to alleviate the fear of that individual person.

Why is it important? Because having external support even before they come out from the closet can be the ray of hope that prevents a suicide. That’s why.

Anger, or Frustration?

We all might know a situation where we sent an email, and the reply is not what we expected at all. The replier avoided the questions completely, and that just makes us so frustrated and mad. Clearly, in our mind, the other person is so stupid they can’t even understand written language.

The same logic goes with the Facebook post in that one group. You know the group where people ask the same questions again and again, and the regulars of the group answer with sarcastic comments, and then some people get irritated.

In the modern world, it is easy to get angry and irritated with the barrage of information coming at us 24/7, and with demands in our jobs requiring more and more of our energy and time. These things, as separate as they can seem, are the things that can make us think that it is just us that get misunderstood. At the same time we forget that the other person, who replied to our email, might be feeling exactly the same as we do, and if we don’t have the sense to put ourselves into their shoes, we are (un)happily walking down the path towards the Dark Side. Just like Yoda warned us from the galaxy far, far away.

And Then There Is Hate.

It wasn’t Yoda, but Confucius who said that it is easier to hate than it is to love.

Is it really so that we humans have the innate fear of anything new, anything foreign to us, that makes it easier to say that we hate something – even without us wanting to find out what it is that we hate? Or is it just laziness as it would require effort.

Or is it so that our modern society is just so hectic and toxic that we don’t even want to understand anything else than our own way of thinking? Or are these just different aspects of the same thing?

In my opinion that one place where this hate is currently clearly overflowing is the different social media platforms. Why? Because it is easier to type something hateful from the privacy of your own home where you don’t have to think of the consequences of your words versus having a conversation where you have to justify your beliefs to the other people, face to face.

And, after you post your hateful rant on a Facebook post, it gets shocked comments, you can always ban those people and think, “Oh well, they were never my friends anyway!” instead of having truly meaningful communication.

Sadly, I’ve been there and lost some people to stupidity like that. I’m not saying who was stupid and who wasn’t, but it was only after I read the words: “I liked you more when you didn’t have opinions.” Some people actually said that to me, and once I formed opinions on different matters, I became an undesirable friend. “Oh well, maybe they weren’t my friends to begin with, after all.”

What Actually Is My Point?

We may or may not agree that the modern world requires us to have different sets of skills to navigate all the information we receive on a daily basis compared to the previous generations. Heck, I remember the time when there weren’t 24/7 news channels and the possibility to check your favourite news app every 5 minutes. There were not any Twitters or Facebooks, where every Tom, Dick, and Harry could post their absolute truths without checking any of the facts, and we have to do all the fact-checking.

As a writer, I know the way words and spoken language differ and how differently we perceive words. That is why I intentionally wrote a sentence in the previous chapter that can be understood differently and how it is ambiguous in that sense.

What we need to understand is that it is easy to get offended, and it is easy to be scared of something. It is easy to fall into hating something based on the writing on Facebook or Twitter. Perhaps especially Twitter, as it limits the characters you can put into a single tweet. That is why we need to take a step back and breathe before we lash out in another rant.

But is it all as black and white as I have said? Definitely not! First of all we humans are not black and white, we are in all the possible colours of rainbow. And as much as there are good people, there are those people who want evil and there are those organisations who are hellbent on enforcing their view of the world any any means possible, even if it means spreading misinformation and fake news.

So maybe we need to ask more questions like ‘why’, ‘what’, and so on? Maybe we need to check out credentials on the person who says something. And if the person has a history of negativity, we might want to steer away from that, as not all battles can be won.

And even if it is harder to love than to hate, maybe we should take the harder route to make our own lives and the lives around us more meaningful.

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