I find it ironic that International Peace Day is on the same day we here in the Philippines commemorate the Declaration of Martial Law. I was focused on Peace Day since we were preparing for it in Face to Faith, but at the back of my mind I knew that it was Martial Law Day. My Facebook feed was full of #NeverForget and #NeverAgain posts, or Martial Law articles from both the red (Marcos) and yellow (Aquino) sides.
People were sharing articles left and right with their own comments thrown in, and one threw me over. A friend had commented that the only reason people say it was more peaceful and orderly back then was because people were terrified. I agreed with her, but then it got me thinking: Is fear really such a bad thing?
There is such a thing as fear of the Lord, and we do good things, do we not? Students don’t want to break the rules because they are afraid of the consequences (detention, suspension, or expulsion, or whatever is applicable in your case). As a result, students follow the rules and there is order. But I can already hear people saying to me that if only people understand the value of these rules, then they wouldn’t be afraid of the consequences because they will end up naturally following the rules, and if they do break them, then they will accept whatever the consequence is.
This is the ideal, isn’t it? But what do we do about fear? It exists no matter how hard we try to squash, get rid of, understand, or work around it. People have learned to work with their fear. People have learned to work with other people’s fear, and Marcos and other dictators have learned to use this to their advantage.
In my opinion, fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing IF used in moderation and IF with proper processing. Sharing a number of fears I’ve had that continue to haunt me because of lack of proper processing would be a great idea to support my statement, but I would rather not. It makes me uncomfortable to do so. Therefore I ask that you just mull this over on your own. Spit it out in the end if you don’t like it, but at least think about it first.
While all this Martial Law hullabaloo was happening on my FB feed, I was watching Doctor Who S8.4 called Listen, which dealt with fear. When I saw my friend’s comment, I immediately thought of what the Doctor (and his companion) said about fear–it is a superpower. Clara goes on to say that “…if you’re very wise and very strong, fear doesn’t have to make you cruel or cowardly. Fear can make you kind.”
In the context of Martial Law in the Philippines, do you think that Clara’s statement is true? That fear can make you kind?
I think I’ll leave that for a different entry on a different day.