I taught a lesson this morning based on an essay by Thomas Merton entitled, “The Root of War is Fear.” In this essay, Merton argues that fear is created by insecurity and insecurity provokes response. We can choose to respond to insecurity in a violent or nonviolent fashion. When we respond violently we are doing so because we think that it will make us secure. The problem is that when we respond violently to secure security we don’t take the time to consider that the source of our insecurity and anxiety comes from within. We create the fiction that enacting violence against others will be the solution. Ultimately, violence is never the solution, Merton concludes, as there will always be new fear in our own souls and new reasons to harm for a false security.
The path towards peace begins with dealing with the fear in our own hearts.
Do we choose to live in love or live in fear?
I choose love.