On Wednesday night I had the privilege of spending time in the beautiful town of Somerset East.
We attended a dinner & had the opportunity to share some ideas about ‘fear & love’ and ‘how what motivates us, determines an outcome’.
We met beautiful people, some who asked if the talk would be available online, as it touched them & so I share it with you, perhaps it would mean something to you as well.
I want to start tonight’s talk with a quote from one of the Masters.
Its always good to quote someone.
It shows that you’ve done some homework.
And your ideas aren’t that outrageous.
Maybe there could be some merit to them.
Off course, the more well-known the person you quote, the greater the substance of what you will be saying.
Hence my decision to start tonight with a quote from one of the Masters. I mean, starting with his words, you’ll know the idea I’ll be sharing with you tonight, it M U S T have substance.
This particular Master, the one I’m quoting this evening, he has been around for some time. He rose to fame in the late 70’s, early 80’s. He has been revered ever since. He stared in the George Lucas Film: Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back.
His claim to fame is that he trained Luke Skywalker to fight against the Evil Galactic Empire.
Also included in his impressive CV, in the prequel Star Wars Films, he served as grandmaster of the Jedi Council and as General in the clone Wars.
Yes! You guessed right. His name is Master Yoda. And he says the following:
‘Fear leads to Anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.’
When I heard Master Yoda say this, the Truth of it resonated inside of me. For I have been afraid. Fearful. And it always lead me on a path of anger & hate & destruction.
Perhaps we all have been?
And it is part of the place where we find ourselves, not only as individuals or families, but as a people, a town, a region, a country?
So often it is the driving force, in our being.
How & who we are.
How we interact.
How we relate.
How we choose.
Who we are, as we interact & relate & choose.
Perhaps the situation we find ourselves in, personally and as a town, as a country, perhaps it is the result of fear?
Fear unleashed to consume?
If you think about it, F E A R – it has been made the driving force of so much in the world of our creation.
In religion it is with fear that we are driven to God, lest we do not end up in hell.
In the fibre of our communities, it is with fear that we are driven to compliance, lest we not be ostracized. Pushed out. To exist in isolation. On the fringe.
I think that fear presented itself much more overtly fifty and a hundred years ago. In the intimacy of our communities. But still, in 2013, in our bit of world, fear of being pushed aside, fear of not being acceptable – it is used to solicit compliance.
And very effectively.
Sociologists call it pier-pressure. Dress in a certain way. Speak in a certain way.
I think gangs, which are thriving in South Africa & across the world, in Nelson Mandela Bay’s Northern Areas, in Somerset East & surrounds – I think they work the fear-angle very effectively.
Fear that I may not be able to make it on my own.
Fear that I might die.
Or that my family may come to harm.
But it isn’t just in gangs that fear rule.
It is in all kinds of gangs.
Fear driving people to compliance, with whatever agenda is on the table, for whatever reason or motive.
Fear that I might be alone?
Fear that I might not be acceptable?
That I might not be loved?
Maybe the whole fear-thing, maybe it is sown into the fiber of our being?
As we violently punish our children, beating them into compliance, from when they are little, that they would do, as they have been told, by us, with the best of intentions, lest they meet the wrath of the rod?
It really I S as Master Yoda says: ‘Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.’ Resentment.
And as we get older, we taste it in our personal lives.
And everyone around us.
For the things we did not do.
Or did not choose.
Because we were afraid.
Now you might wonder: Why is this guy going on about fear?
That’s how we do these talks. I speak. You silently sit & listen. Questioning what I’m saying, but only in your mind, thinking to yourself: ‘my goodness, where is he going with this?’
And we don’t get up & say: ‘hey! What is THIS all about!?’ It’s not how it is done.
And we’re afraid.
Afraid that we might be considered rude or unsocial. More fear.
You know the story of the guy who got a flat tire, between Somerset East & Pearston?
It was late at night. The moon was low & dark. And when he got out to change the tyre, he saw that he had a perfectly good spare wheel, but somehow the wheel-spanner was missing.
Just as he wanted to get despondent, he saw a light in the distance. Realizing it must be a farm house, he decided he’ll walk there, ask if they might not have a wheel spanner he might borrow. So he climbed the fence, started walking and as he was walking, he debated with himself: I hope these people aren’t sleeping already? It is late. I hope they don’t have dogs? I hope they are kind?
And he started thinking about farm attacks, about the inconvenience of knocking on someone’s door in the middle of the night. He became more anxious with every step he takes closer to the light and as he got closer to the farmhouse, dogs started barking.
He thought to himself: o, boy, I hope I’m doing the right thing here. I need that wheel spanner.
And as he stepped onto the farmyard, another light went on. He could see movement at the front door. He could feel his stomach make a knot.
And as he stepped onto the stoop, the door opened, a grumpy looking elderly gentleman with bad bed-hair stepping outside.
And overcome by the moment, overwhelmed by his anxiousness, he shouted at the man opening the door: well, then take your wheel spanner and shove it! Turned around & walked away!
What motivates us determines the result of our actions.
It determines how we act.
It determines the outcome.
And if it is F E A R which drives us, the result is suffering.
Something we see in our communities.
In our families.
In our personal lives.
There is another less fictional Master who is also quite well known.
He never headed a Jedi Council, or managed a war.
He said something like this: ‘Where there is love, there is no fear!’
I believe we were created for this. And somehow, somewhere along the way, we lost our way.
Perhaps as long ago as the time when there was a tree, a snake, a loss.
But the same Master said he loved this world.
This world so much, not these Christians, or these religious ones: He loved this world so much, this world, in its entirety, that he gave his only son, to die, and live again.
I believe this Master, the one who says: ‘where there is love, there is no fear’, I believe he created us to be loved, by him.
I think it was he, who also said, when asked by religious-sorts: What is the greatest commandment?
I believe it is he who said: Love.
Love the people around you.
For when we love, we see with different eyes.
We see beauty.
We see opportunity.
We see hope.
Something we are in desperate need of, as a country, as a community, as families & individuals.
When we love, we include.
We don’t see ourselves as separate.
In the western individualistic sense.
When we love, we come to be an ‘us’.
I believe we were created to be an ‘us’.
Did he not also say, this other Master: “Let ‘ u s ’ create man, in o u r own image.”?
When we love, ourselves, who we are, with all our cracks & faults & brokenness, we become connected, to each other, beyond reason.
And then our community changes.
Who we are.
How we interact.
It is a different motivation.
A selfishly, unselfish one.
I brought along two more video clips.
The first is an Australian TV commercial.
It speaks of influence.
It speaks of fear.
It speaks of how contagious we are.
Disturbingly true. How we become, as we are immersed in fear.
There isn’t a lot of hope in that commercial.
Just more fear.
Fear that I might destroy.
Now look at this next video clip.
At first glance you might think it carries the same message, because it also speaks of influence, but from a different angle.
It shows a chain reaction.
I want you to notice ‘motivation’.
And I want you to notice where the chain reaction starts.
I want you to notice how it flows, snowballs, becomes something beautiful and immense.
An insignificant little boy: That is where it starts.
A little love from a little boy, and it flows, and it becomes a wave.
May you know this in your community.
May Y O U be the insignificant little boy or girl.
May you be brave enough.
Bold enough to step out of fear.
Away from it.
Regardless of what your experience or up-bringing, or religion or fear may dictate.