There is a theory, perhaps a philosophy, which says that there are only two emotions: Fear and Love. Everything else falls under one of those two emotions.
So why is this important? It is important because if we can recognize our negative or “fear driven” emotions, we might be able to do something about them. When we control our emotions, we control our lives. Of course we may not always have control over what happens in our lives, but we can control how we feel or respond to what happens.
Recognizing our emotions is relevant to every aspect of our lives. How we feel about our relationships, money, politics, health, work, prejudices, and more are all determined by whether we are coming from a place of love or fear.
Racism and prejudice are driven by fear. That a person looks different is the cause of that fear. Being different makes them ‘unknown’ and we are always, or at least often, afraid of that which we don’t know. Once we get to know someone who looks different, that fear and our prejudice goes away. Fear of the unknown is a most basic and primal fear. But we are humans and can reason and rationalize and overcome our fears….and our prejudices.
Using a wheelchair makes me different and I experience a kind of fear and prejudice when I go out in public. I often make it a point to be particularly friendly in order to help others overcome their fears. Once that is done, they can treat me with love and don’t we all deserve that?
Fear based emotions rarely do us or anyone any good. These include hate, prejudice, distrust, doubt, pessimism, disgust and more. Love based emotions would be just the opposite; love, acceptance, trust, confidence, optimism, respect, etc.
Being able to recognize our emotions and fears gives us the opportunity to examine our feelings and ask ourselves “What are we afraid of?” If we can do that, we might not only be able to change how we feel, we just might change the world.
Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.