Thursday, May 03, 2007

Love or Fear?

It was a beautiful spring day, just this last Saturday in April. I had the responsibility for taking care of my 6 and 7-year-old grandsons.

We stopped by my house and I made a big bowl of buttered popcorn and the boys entertained themselves with coloring books I had picked up on my last shopping trip while they munched their snack.

After I finished my home office business, we went to the local park to play. This is a lovely playground that the boys are very familiar with, so they went to play, happy to be there.

We hadn't finished the popcorn so I had decided to just bring the big bowl with us and finish munching it there. I installed myself on one of the picnic tables in the shade, with a good view of the playground.

I was feeling very exuberant and happy so I offered some popcorn to a mother and her kid as they passed by on the way to their car. They seemed to ignore my offering and I thought nothing of it.

A few minutes later a couple of the local police approached me and asked for my ID. I said sure, but what was the problem?

Apparently someone had complained that there was a man in the park trying to sell popcorn to kids!

I have had nothing but good experiences with the Mundelein police so I got my driver's license and chatted with them while they checked me out to make sure I wasn't some kind of pedophile or something. In a few minutes they handed my license back to me and said I was ok to go.

So what to make of this incident? Of course if there was some strange man in the park trying to seduce kids by offering them popcorn he should be reported.

And maybe because I have a beard I looked not like a typical Republican suburbanite. But jeez folks!

If the mother or whoever reported me consulted her intuition or even just used her powers of observation for five minutes she would have seen/known that I was just an innocent grandpa in the park with his grandkids.

But her decision to call the alarm must have been a knee jerk reaction just based on fear. This is a sad and hopefully avoidable situation.

The events of 9/11 created a New World for many. There is no doubt that there are sexual predators out there that we need to take precautions against to protect our children. The world can be a pretty scary place and it is easy to yield to fear and just live a paranoid existence. But do we really want to live this way?

I certainly don't. And even though there is much negativity in this world, I still see Love to be the most powerful force in my life and in this world. I intend to live my life based on love, not fear. If we end up living in fear the terrorists have won.

I am not a Pollyanna who wants to hide from the realities of modern life. I just want to remind everyone that a lot of your reality is based upon where you put your attention. If you have been watching too many news reports and have not been tending to your relationship with God, you will have a tendency to develop a warped perspective, one that is fear based.

If your recollection is that you are Soul and are eternal, it is possible for you to bring the force of love into your daily existence in a meaningful way.

Are you going to share the popcorn or call the police?

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