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Of Fear and Evolution

by GURU KAUR

 

Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when you first heard that the Twin Towers were coming down? 

Do you remember that day as the news unfolded that there were other planes out there, with suicidal terrorists on them who would stop at nothing to fulfil their deadly mission? 

Do you remember how the cold arms of fear hugged you tight, so tight that it almost stopped you breathing? 

Do you remember how afraid you were that the world was coming to an end?

How long did that fear last in you?  And what about in our global society as a whole? 

A war on terror began.  A war on an emotion: how do you do that?  Do you take out your sword and cut it to pieces and say "nah-na-na-nah-nah, I'm not afraid of you so you can go away"?  Did you walk tall, having decided that if you succumbed to feel the fear that pervaded the globe then the terrorists had won?  Did you turn courageously and face that fear and do it anyway? 

However you individually and personally answer those questions, that fear did collectively take hold.  A few years ago, when they introduced that new legislation about carrying liquids on board an airline, I watched incredulously as my tube of toothpaste, with just enough toothpaste for one brushing, was unceremoniously destroyed by "security". 

Were we now fighting emotions with unbrushed teeth on arrival at your final destination?  That fear-induced "heightened security measures are now in place" attitude has reduced international travel from a heaven to hell, with passengers constricted in the snaking queues round airports.  That fear has affected our lives.

A friend of mine is a professional violin and viola player.  He's just turned down a series of concerts in Denmark because he can't fly there with both his instruments as hand luggage.  What do you think he's going to do?  Practice cacophonic modern music in the cockpit thus forcing the pilot to crash and burn the plane? 

Come on. Get real. 

Security and fear have been the key issues to address. Suddenly little spiders in the bath aren't quite so frightening. 

But what of security?  Did you realize in these last seven years since it's been a buzz word that security is not some external check, but something that you feel inside when you know who you are, are beyond manipulation and are free to serve and defend? 

Seven years on from that 9/11 day, it's out with the old and in with the new.  Suddenly fear is old hat.  Now everyone's worried, getting depressed and wondering, now that you can't trust the banks and bankers, who can you trust? 

A man walked into a local bank the other day and said I gave you my life-savings, where in here did you put it, and why can't you go and fetch it to give it back to me. 

What a sense of betrayal, disbelief and instability he felt. 

He's not alone.  That's the new emotion on the street.  The fear of an unknown enemy blowing you up physically has been replaced by not knowing where the next meal ticket is coming from. 

It's that not knowing, not understanding, the lack of trust which is now gnawing away on a global level.  If you didn't yet get that your security is inside you, that there is nothing to fear, then you're going to be in trouble: panicky, worrying, insecure and unstable.  

Just like the gales of 1987 which wreaked havoc with the landscape, the various stock market crashes we've been through, and the whole 9/11 experience, this is another shift in the collective psyche.  It isn't, as the mass media would have you believe, in all its emotional, crisis-driven language, the end of the world as we know it. 

For sure, there are going to be changes.  That's called evolution.  What matters is how you approach that.  If you see the changes on the outside for what they are, changes in the backdrop to the play of your life, and you as the constant thread on the stage, then you're a long way forward in handling this turning point. 

Crisis sorts out the wheat from the chaff, the men from the boys, and the warriors from the worriers.  Worry and you're sticking your head in the sand, you're just willing bad things to happen to you, or as my Grandpa would say, someone to take a pot shot at your rear-end.  It's time to find the strength inside you, rise up and be counted. 

And most of all, it tests women to rise above their innate predisposition to worry, be emotionally unstable and insecure.  At this time, it is women who hold the trump card.  If we don't gossip, stick to the facts, don't react, and manage our emotions and affairs with elegance and grace, we will make it through. 

The men in our lives need to feel that security in us, in order to rebalance their own lack of trust in the world-at-large.  We need to be the embodiment of trust, dependability and infinite reassurance that everything will be all right. 

There will be seismic changes to the economy, restructuring as unnecessary tiers of hierarchies are eliminated and the black-hole monolithic companies get back to the basics of streamlining to a global economy which is locally based.  That man in the bank wants to know where his money is, where he can literally put his hands on it.  He doesn't want it in some nebulous, quasi-fictitious land of make-believe. 

There is the same amount of money around, it's just that the froth of unsubstantiated assets has evaporated quicker than that from a skinny latte on a cold day.  Investors are going to look for safer places than banks to put their dosh.  They're going to look for people to invest in.  And they will be looking for security.  

Not in what collateral you can provide, but in how secure you are within yourself, how strong you are within, what your stamina is in seeing things through, no matter what. 

Investors will want to have a close relationship with what they put their money into, we'll see more equal partnerships, and investors and inventors working together closely, not remotely, on an almost daily basis.  It will create communities who live for each other, not who are enslaved by another. 

Women, over history, have been very fundamental to the running of local economies. 

Traditionally, a woman would choose which butcher, baker and candlestick-maker she would give her patronage to, and once that relationship was established it would last forever. 

The family I stay with in New Delhi have used the same vegetable stall since the old grandmother's day.  That vegetable-seller will never give the family bad produce; he's too invested in the relationship to ruin it. 

Women warriors hold a sword of serene stability, the shield of community and the battle cry of caring for all.  No matter what. 

 

[Guru Kaur runs the Be the Woman You Were Born to Be ... Online Course and Community, and is the host of the new series of Regally GracefulTM Teleseminars which offer you, for free, better solutions to traditional challenges.]  

October 23, 2008

 

Conversation about this article

1: Pritam Singh Grewal (Canada), October 24, 2008, 10:25 AM.

What a wonderful depiction of modern humanity's spiritual dowmfall! It reminds me of the following lines from William Wordsworth's poem, "Lines Written in Early Spring" - "Have I not the reason to lament What man has made of man?

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