Fear sells and hope does not


Rev. Peter E. Bauer

United Church of Christ minister

I am looking at my lawn, seeing that it is all brown due to this summer’s oppressive heat and I think “: Will I ever see it green again?” Yes, I don’t have to mow the lawn yet but I would like to see more evidence of normal grass.

It’s easy to feel fear and think nothing will ever change. People will slow down on the freeway and they will be looking at the car wreck that has occurred in the opposite lanes of traffic. You, the driver, stuck if traffic, may be thinking “ I hope I’m not next ! “

Actor and Uvalde native Matthew McConaughey observed recently, “Fear sells and hope doesn’t.”

McConaughey was referring to the challenge of making schools safer against mass violence. He cited the work of his  “ Greenlights Grant Initiative, a privately funded program intended to help smaller school districts and local education agencies (LEAs) apply for the competitive grants available under the law. The funding is meant to help establish safer and healthier learning environments and prevent and respond to acts of bullying, violence, and hate, as well as other educational programs.”

McConaughey is launching an endeavor to ensure that the $1 billion in school safety funding included in the law resulting from last year’s push, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, doesn’t go to waste.

A few months after the bipartisan law was enacted, it was revealed that only 12 of the 119 schools in the South Texas district had applied for grants under the law — and none got approved.

When you do something to address a problem, helplessness can dissipate, You can feel that something can be accomplished. You can feel hopeful for a better future.

Examples like the Greenlights Grant Initiative are unique right now, over against the usual landscape we live in for greater threats to our human well-being, whether it be the environment, the economy, our human rights or civil discourse between people with differing opinions.

We don’t have to live immobilized by fear.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love…” (I John 4: 18)

There are other ways we can respond to the unsettling circumstances that we may face in our lives.

First, we aren’t helpless. We do have choice. We can decide how we will respond to challenges.

Second, we do have resources that can be utilized to address and solve problems.

Third, we are not alone. Others are available to help us- family, friends, people in our churches and other community organizations.

The summer heat may continue, but at some point it will end.

The grass will turn green again.

Now, may the lawn mower work fine and not show signs of needing a tune-up!

May it be so.

Rev. Peter E. Bauer has been a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and Medium.Com.


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