26. Fear: What scares you a little? What do you feel when scared? How do you react?https://thinkwritten.com/365-creative-writing-prompts/
I fear being paralyzed by fear. I also fear my own cluelessness.
For example. The other day, I was expecting a package. It was after dark, but I saw movement through the window next to our front door. I naturally assumed it was the delivery.
I opened the door to find myself looking at a black man. He was holding up his phone, getting ready to take a photo. At my feet on the doorstep was my package. As soon as I opened the door, I knew what was happening. The deliveryman had placed the package and was taking the photo that would show up in my delivery notification.
I understood that. I knew that that was the situation. I smiled, and I said, “What have you got for me?”
For an instant as I looked into his face, I saw fear in the man’s eyes. It took him just a split second longer to grasp that I had understood the situation correctly, and was smiling in a friendly way at him.
He apologized for delivering so late, said he was running behind. I said, “It’s no problem, it’s nothing urgent. I’m just excited it’s here. Good night, and take care!”
He said, “You, too,” gave me a smile and a wave as he walked off. I saw relief in his eyes.
What does this have to do my fear?
In the wake of the brutal killing of George Floyd last week, what has struck me most (other than the barbarous killing of a man over an alleged counterfeit $20 bill), was that the other police officers either participated, or stood aside.
They stood aside as their colleagues choked the life out of a man. Over a twenty dollar bill. Was the man’s life not worth more than twenty dollars?
Fear at Play
I don’t know what kept them silent. Why they stood aside and watched (and by watching, condoned) what was happening.
I can only assume it was fear. Fear of the bully who was the lead perpetrator of the violence. Fear of the man they were crushing. Fear of losing their jobs. Fear of losing control over a population of black Americans they’ve been accustomed to subjugating.
I fear finding myself in their situation, and doing as they did.
Either not speaking out to stop the violence out of fear, or tacitly condoning the crime by remaining silent.
We all like to think we’d be courageous enough to speak out in a situation like that. But I honestly don’t know that I would be. My own fear might paralyze me.
Fear, or Worse
Worse, my blindness to injustice might keep me silent.
I like to think that if I were witnessing a man being choked to death, I would say something. But what if the aggression isn’t so blatant? What if it’s a non-violent micro aggression against a person of color? Would I be brave enough to point it out?
Would I even realize it was happening?
I don’t know.
I must inform myself. I must pray for empathy. Pray that in whatever situation, I am able to put myself in the other person’s shoes and feel what it is like to be them. And then act accordingly.
Because what everyone needs to remember (or learn for God’s sake) is that