The Circle
Published in

The Circle

The Tooth Fairy.

Where I live, we watch military aircraft and vehicles for entertainment.

We gather in fields, and on coastlines, watching jet aircraft or armoured tanks display their might and muscle.

The speed. The ballistics. The crowd goes wild.

If a helicopter appears over the horizon in the country where I live, we run outside our houses, to catch a glimpse.

This is our privilege.

We are safe because it is assumed we are on the same ‘side of truth’.

But what happens in the opposite side? Can we even imagine it?

The place where the crump of rotor blades or a blur on the horizon is not greeted with smiles, but generates a feeling of terror.

Where we do not crane our necks. Where we do not wait to see what it might be. Where we run, or we face a real certainty of death. For us and for those we love.

Where the worst that happens from differences of opinion, is not a few terse messages on social media, but death.

For centuries, we have fought wars over things that people believe, that cannot be proven.

Our generations are ravaged by divisions, based on differences that exist only in opinion.

Our worlds, are torn apart by narratives and comparisons that only exist in our minds.

But what if we stopped to think for a moment, about the energy we are using, and the direction we are using it in?

What if we paused before we acted, and asked ourselves whose name or cause we were acting in?

We say we act in the love of a cause, or a belief, but this is not love.

Love, is simple. And it is selfless.

Acts of love, should not be imposed on others. Love is protection, not harm. Love is an unconditional bond, not a display or statement for everyone to see.

We feel the impulse to love more, when love is given to us. Without direction, and without the barbs of obligation or transaction.

If any of this exists, it is not love.

It is time to recognise that the sword of truth is not truth at all, it is only the sword of opinion. It is time to acknowledge that if we say we act in love, but it does not feel like it to the other person, we are using love as cover. An empty justification to coerce, or create a divide, or create hate.

And worse, to do terrible things to fellow humans, psychologically or actually.

On an individual scale, the same fantasy exists. Our platforms for opinion grow ever more numerous and larger, and our controls over these platforms are disappearing. The individual becomes a crowd. The crowd becomes a mob.

Our ability to amplify an opinion, is only matched by our inability to filter it. Opinion becomes truth. Truth becomes justification. Love becomes a weapon.

If we only stopped to think, a lot of pain could be avoided. We would realise the absurdity of many of our beliefs, our truths, our feelings in the moment, and what they are built upon.

The belief seem so real, because the consequences are real.

And the consequences are real, because they are not administered by the imagination, but by people. By us to each other. And sometimes to ourselves.

It does not even take much to tip the balance, and create reality from fantasy, and to provoke these days, because we are all on the edge of our nerves.

Situations blow up, from relationships to community groups to governments, because our hypersensitivity and our hyperconnection causes a constant and escalating series of reactions, without thought about why we’re doing it.

It needs to stop. We say that our beliefs are grounded in love, but how can they be if our actions contain so much hate. It feels like for the good of humanity, we need to collectively unlearn what we’ve been told for so many years.

It can start now, with us. You and me.

Beware those who use a platform of belief to justify a very real act of cruelty.

Beware those who use the mask of difference to wield a baton.

Beware those who seek to use a crowd to trample on the feelings of others.

Beware those who use love, to coerce or belittle.

These are not people, institutions, or systems that uphold love, or inclusion.

There is no ‘side of right’.

They are mobs that exist simply to bully and dominate.

Love is fragile, and hate is the blunt object.

The next time you witness an act of hate, justified by a system or a belief, or next time you were treated unfairly, for reasons that echo with the hollow tones of false love, show the absurdity by asking:

If the Tooth Fairy asked you to do it, would you?

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Ian McClellan

Ian McClellan

Writing for meditation. Reading to learn. Independent writer. Aspiring human.