Beyond ‘Refuse to be Afraid’

“They” have always wanted “us” to be afraid, and they’ve stepped up their game the past two years. It’s harder than ever to refuse to be afraid: “They” have “us” questioning every sniffle and worrying about every cough. 

The intensity of it all is enough to make a person angry. Some of the fear mongering is downright infuriating. And so many silly people are taking up the call on antisocial media, a person could stay angry all the time.

And that brings up a question: What if “they” WANT “us” to stay angry? Why would “they” want “us” angry all the time? Well, people act stupid when they’re afraid, but they act even stupider when they’re afraid and angry.

It’s been obvious for years that “they” prefer “us” to be fearful; it’s much easier to manipulate scared people. But if they can also scare us into anger, maybe we will do some of their dirty work for them, like shun or censor or even injure or kill people who refuse to be fearful or kowtowed.

What if people refused to be afraid AND refused to get angry? It would be a lot harder to manipulate “us.”

Unafraid and calm people can see through clouds of bullshit, and Powers That Be who can’t fool or manipulate people are, well, powerless.

I begin to believe the key to getting through the BS barrage is to keep your fear in check and don’t get angry. A good laugh at their expense is also helpful.

For years I’ve preached “Refuse to be Afraid.” In these “challenging” times, it has an important corollary:

Refuse to be Angry.

Recall the old expression, “Don’t get mad, get even.” It’s an ominous expression, because it seems to advocate cold, calculated revenge — but cold calculation is better than rage. When you’re not blinded by anger, you can think things through.

How do you check anger at the door? “Count to 10.” Do something, anything, that focuses your mind on not lashing back in a rage. 

Stop long enough to consider: Why does this person want you angry? Again, angry people do stupid things without thinking — seeking an eye for an eye, for example — and they do stuff that could provide a handy excuse to, say, arrest the angry person, perhaps lock him away for a long, long time.

Just as wondering why “they” want “us” to be afraid leads to insights about the nature of government and politics and advertising and such, it can be educational to wonder why “they” want “us” to be angry. Like the fear monger, the rabble rouser seeks to control and/or to manipulate. The fearful will often shut down in paralysis; the rager needs an outlet, and with a little finesse the anger can be directed and more or less controlled.

When on the verge of being paralyzed by fear or blinded by rage, the best course is often to step back and ask those questions.

Ask: Why are you doing this? Why are you trying to scare me? Why are you trying to get me angry? What is your agenda? What do you want?

What DO “they” want? What good is a scared and raging mob?

I feel like I sound paranoid, but I sincerely wonder who benefits when fear and anger washes over antisocial media and newscasts day after day. Surely, rulers and pretenders to the throne benefit when we are afraid of each other and when we are angry at our neighbors. The more we shun and/or fight among ourselves, the less attention we pay to who is pulling the strings.

I have a new theme, piled on top of the old theme.

Refuse to be Angry.

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, Dejah and Summer, and Blackberry, an insistent cat. Author of Full, Refuse to be Afraid, Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, Myke Phoenix: The Complete Novelettes, A Bridge at Crossroads, The Imaginary Bomb, A Scream of Consciousness, and The Imaginary Revolution.

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