The happy ending for 33 miners trapped underground has awakened a sense of hope in many parts of the world since through the combined efforts of many nations a way was found to rescue these men. In a world frightened by fears of strange groups, the entire world came together in order to save lives. There was no talk of “those people” or “why should we help Hispanic guys when we have enough problems in America.” Humans were entombed beneath the ground and all nations were summoned to provide whatever assistance they could furnish. This was in stark contrast when a Russian submarine, the Kursk” sank below the waves in 2000. The Russian government refused to accept any help because to do so would make them come across as “weak” or “unable to solve their own problems.” Unfortunately, that attitude helped lead to the death of 118 sailors. As I write these words of hope, a story flashed across my screen about a riot in India in which 10 people were trampled to death while praying to the goddess, Durga. Most probably, someone shouted or did something to initiate the fear, and people then proceeded to run over one another. If people hold a sense of community in their hearts there will not be any stampedes.
The world today is all too often centered in fear. We fear what we do not know and we exaggerate what we do not know as a fearsome thing. Between June, 1940 and June, 1941, the people of England were subjected to daily and night time bombing by the German air force. Fortunately, Prime Minister Winston Churchill projected hope and triumph over evil rather than adopting the Bush approach of fear and hate. In the end, the British people–together with their allies– triumphed over REAL TERROR–Nazi Germany. We need leaders who offer hope rather than those whose message if fear your neighbor and expect the worse in life.