Monday, May 19, 2008

Walls of Fear

Once there was a people who surveyed the resources of the world and said to each other: "How can we be sure that we will have enough in hard times? We want to survive whatever happens. Let us start collecting food, materials and knowledge so that we are safe and secure when a crisis occurs." So they started hoarding, so much and so much and so eagerly that other peoples protested and said: "You have more than you need while we don't have enough to survive. Give us part of your wealth!"

But the fearful hoarders said: "No, no we need to keep this in case of an emergency, in case things go bad for us, too, in case our lives are threatened." But the others said: "We are dying now. Please give us food, materials and knowledge to survive. We can't wait ... we need it now!"

Then the fearful hoarders became even more fearful since they became afraid that the poor and the hungry would attack them. So they said to one another: "Let us build walls around our wealth so that no one can take it from us." They started erecting walls so high so that they could not even see anymore whether there were enemies outside their walls or not! As their fear increased they told each other: "our enemies have becomes o numerous that they may be able to tear down our walls. Our walls are not strong enough to keep them away. We need to put bombs on top of the walls so that nobody will dare to even come close to us."

But instead of feeling safe and secure behind their armed walls they found themselves trapped in the prison they had build with their own fear. They even became afraid of their own bombs, wondering if they might harm themselves more than their enemy. And gradually they realized their fear of death had brought them closer to it.

-- Henri Nouwen, Seeds of Hope p. 166-67.

1 comment:

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