Every one of us has approximately 3000 a day….!
That’s how many thoughts neuroscience tells us we have every 24 hours. If true, it’s safe to assume many have to do with love and fear. Two human fundamentals unchanging and eternal throughout our species’ history. Well, only the first can really make that claim.
While we humans continue to love much as our ancestors did, we fear in some very different ways. Ancient fears were mostly immediate and tangible. The beasts from outside the cave. The storms from the skies above. The spears from the tribes across the river. Our fight-or-flight response kicked in, and we either survived or we didn’t.
Today’s fears are far more complex. And ironic. For while we have conquered so many of our ancient fears, we have somehow created even greater ones. Created…? Yes, behold what the genius of humanity has wrought in our 21st C. Wondrous electric power grids which serve our needs until they suddenly fail and all life screeches to a frightening dark halt…dramatic air travel which can sweep us across continents in hours yet destroy us in a fiery instant….enormous medical networks that have prolonged our lives but often only to let us linger longer…massive global financial networks which make modern life possible while at the same time making that life so complex that its bubbles explode in ways that we don’t even understand as we are crushed under their Olympian weights.
The ancient fears provoked us into high-adrenalin action. However, the new fears often simply paralyze us into staring eyes in front of nightly-news screens. Unseen people and unfathomable systems beyond our sight or senses seem to now hold our fate in their hands. Yes, we still shop and sleep, picnic and pray in the same ways. Yet somehow we each know in the inner sanctum of our fears that our fears have metastasized into a paralysis of terror we dare not even admit.
Wait…! There is still one admission we can all make. Even now. While fear has changed, love has not. Catch it if you can. On the next summer night under God’s twinkling skies, hold their hand. Look into their eyes. Say along with the sweet night winds, “I love you and I’m so glad you’re in my life….” Go ahead, say it. Private heart-to-heart love is still one thing the unseen people and unfathomable systems can’t yet change. But be quick about it!
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