Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Today's MOMENT OF ZEN 1/3/13

Words and photo by F LoBuono

One of the things that I enjoy about Facebook is making the acquaintance of new people. They are called friends in Facebook parlance, but they are not "really" friends. We can only know them from what they decide to present to us in their profiles. Some do actually become "real" friends. Others you find that you could easily live without! In a sense, it mirrors life.

Well, yesterday, while perusing the News Feed on Facebook, I noticed a posting from one of my Facebook "friends". I use quotes because she really was just a Facebook friend. I really didn't know her at all. In fact, I'm not even sure how we even became Facebook friends! Be that as it may, something about her post caught my eye. I read it and was greatly moved. It was so eloquent and honest. The basic theme of it was one that I feel particularly attached to: Only love can conquer hate. She called for, in her way, a love revolution - new thinking based on compassion. I found it brilliant and I said so. She responded and we began a correspondence. During our conversation, I suggested that she read my blog. I felt that we were "like-minded" and I wanted to share some thoughts with her. When she did, she noticed my postings on gun control. She politely explained to me that she did not agree with me on that particular issue and explained why. She had been mugged at gun point as a young woman and the trauma of that event changed her life forever. Now, as the single mother of two girls, she felt that she needed a weapon to protect herself and her children. She was so respectful. Not a fanatic at all. Of course, I understood her POV. I've not had the horror of being mugged with a gun. I had to listen to understand. After empathising with her, I explained my position against gun ownership and asked her to read the statistics I posted defending my views. And, once again, as we delved more deeply into the issue we got to the crux: fear. Fear was driving her emotions and ruling her life. She was living in fear.

I asked her these questions: If you had a gun at the time of your mugging, would it REALLY have made a difference? Could (would) you use the gun now, properly, to protect yourself and your family? As she seems to be an honest person, she answered honestly: she wasn't sure. Probably not. Besides, her stance on guns and protection seemed contrary to the position she took in the posting that began the conversation: A love revolution. Only love can conquer hate! When I put that to her, she saw the incongruity of the situation. In fact, she said that, in her heart, I was making a good point - that more guns are NOT the answer. But she was afraid.

I get it. Anyone going through what she did could fully be expected to experience fear. In fact, there is a medical term for it: PTSD. However, how do you overcome that fear? Do we arm more people? Do we get more guns? But isn't that the ROOT of all this evil. Yes, there are other factors, but none more important than are obsession with guns and violence. No, my friends, we need a love revolution. Violence meeting violence just creates more violence. We MUST break the cycle. And we can only accomplish this by overcoming our fear. Remember, fear is a state of mind. Only WE can make OURSELVES fearful. Others may try to intimidate us but it only works if you let it! And if you let it, the bad guys win!!!! I, for one, cannot - WILL NOT - be intimidated. Therefore, I live without fear. AND, NO AMOUNT OF GUNS will change that for me - ever!

It really is rather simple, my friends - Facebook and REAL - ONLY LOVE CAN (and WILL) CONQUER HATE.

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