Thank you, FDR. That quote stands even more vibrantly today than even ten years ago. We are the most informed yet terrified folks that have ever lived on our blue planet. Revisit Billy Joel's wonderful song We Didn't Start The Fire and just substitute a few phrases. Still relevant.
The Internet is a wonderful place to visit but I do not want to live there. It is the fierce dragon in our lives; it connect us in ways unimaginable as it soars through our lives; it is magnificent, beautiful and dangerous. It can kill your courage, your reason. It can numb you. It can easily feed our fears --- bad dogs, child molesters everywhere, government conspiracies, the vaccination controversy, unsafe water, global warming. You can find a website, blog, link, video to validate your greatest fears. We think the Magic Box is the Be All & End All. If it's on the web, it must be right. (It used to be TV!).
I want to use the Dragon. I want to bask in the warmth of his fire, and fly on his back to places I've never been and may never go in my lifetime. But I have to be conscious, to know when it's time to walk away from his cave, or climb off his back and connect. With Mother Earth, the Great Spirit (God, if you will), the touch of a human's hand, the feel of my dog's fur, the vibration of my cat's purr. No matter how funny that YouTube video is it's nothing compared to shared laughter with a friend. No matter how compelling that website is about how you shouldn't let your kid go outside because s/he may get nabbed by some weirdo, maybe s/he needs to scrape her/his knees and learn about people by being with them.
I see so many people being so afraid. If I take this, drink this, go there I'm going to die. That's the bottom line. Well, yes, you might. However, you will pass from this mortal coil eventually. And yes, conscienceless lunacy is not an excuse. "Hey y'all --- watch THIS!" should not be your optimal last words.
While I do think that The Powers That Be want people afraid, this is NOT a new thing. Fear has always been a way to control The Huddled Masses. If you don't bring offerings to the tree gods, your crop is going to die; tithe to the church, you're going to hell; buy this cleaner, you are bad housewife; etc. It goes on and on. I see the Dragon and he's big and huge and he looks so smart and powerful.
Here is a secret I've learned. As the Dragon is flesh, bones, fire and yes, a little magic --- the Internet is just what people, human being just like you and me have put into it. You can let it serve you, or you can serve it. If you give into fear, you are serving it.
And if you live in fear, your not living much at all. You are living in the past or in some nebulous future.
I want to live the rest of my life. How about you?