What would happen if we looked past the delusions created by our fear? An article in the New York Times on December 31, 2009, A Mideast Bond, Stitched of Pain and Healing, demonstrates this. The article describes the friendships developed between an Israeli boy, injured by a Hamas rocket, and a Palestinian Muslim girl, injured by an Israeli missile, and their families in the hospital where their children are living while they receive ongoing long-term treatment.
The story is lovely on the one hand: two families who might otherwise be divided have developed connections and friendship. It is also sad on the other hand: it took injury and pain to unite these families in friendship and understanding. In the words of the boy‘s mother, “Do we need to suffer in order to learn that there is no difference between Jews and Arabs?”
The words of another individual, an Israeli Jew who brings his daughter to the hospital for treatments, demonstrate clearly how fear creates delusions that keep people separate, unable to see their human connections:
“I was raised as a complete Zionist rightist. The Arabs, we were told, were out to kill us. But I was living in some fantasy. Here in the hospital, all my friends are Arabs.”
It is only when we are able to move past the fear and the delusions it creates that we can truly “see” each other. As the injured girl‘s mother stated:
“Does it matter that he is from Gaza and I am from Beersheba, that he is an Arab and I am a Jew? It has no meaning to me. He sees [my italics] my child and I see [my italics] his child.”
It is only by seeing past our delusions that we are able to understand and recognize that we are all connected as part of the Quilt of Humanity.
What are some delusions fear is creating in your life? What avenues to friendship and connection might open up if you were able to see past your fear?