Thursday, October 30, 2008
What is the opposite of fear?
I had to google this question. There really is no word that is the opposite of fear, if fear is used in a general sense. Courage may or may not be the opposite of fear. It's a dictionary antonym, but one can be fearful and courageous at the same time, so I don't buy it.
Come to think of it, all emotions are like this. Our language is so inherently dualistic that we don't believe this is true. One either loves or hates, likes or dislikes, approves or disapproves (etc. ad nauseum). But, it's not either/or. There is always both and sometimes they occur simultaneously.
I decided to post, not to discuss language, but to rant a bit about my evening. I was somewhat disturbed to see that there was not one Obama lawn sign between the 18 miles from my house to the town where I was going. There may have been twice as many McCains signs as last week. I'd guess that at least half the houses on this road now have these signs up, and that's a lowball estimate.*
I heard a well-spoken woman state unequivocably that she suspects Obama is secretly in league with the Taliban.
I was told by someone who knows everyone that Obama signs are disappearing in the night on every rural road around my area, and that most people are sick of replacing them. Shock was expressed when I stated my sign is still intact, after three nights.
Then I idiotically listened to Sean Hannity on the radio, where I heard Rudy Guiliani state that the Obama campaign was waging dangerous class warfare. If anyone is doing that, it's McPalin.
And to top it all off, as I was trying reassure myself that things are going to turn out alright, I get online, only to read that McCain said today, about Joe the Plumber, that he is “an American hero, a great citizen of Ohio and my role model.”
Are the good folks of Canton, Ohio really lapping this stuff up?
So, I'm nervous.
Listening to Hannity, Limbaugh,Glenn Beck and the rest of the hate mongers on talk radio or TV, I am increasingly appalled. I used to listen to this stuff for entertainment. Well, that was then.
Now? I can't understand why people choose fear and hatred over whatever the opposite of fear and hatred is. The opposite of hatred is love, and perhaps that's what the opposite of fear is, too. Hey, all you radical Christianists (who are not reading this, I would imagine), what do you think Jesus would say? What happened to "love thy enemy"? And I know that there's something in the bible about not speaking ill of others, but I can't place it right now.
I know I'm a bit over my limit of ethical boundaries, given posts like this one. But what's it driven by? Fear.
*Yes, I've been told that lawn signs don't win elections.
Image note: Hmm. Picasso again! Read this short bio to learn more about this simple drawing. It's got an intriging history.
I wanted to use an image of the "dove of peace" but by page four of google results, I got sick of looking at ugly new-agey art. Hence, Picasso. Maybe I should rethink my attitude towards him.