Never not be afraid...

If you haven't seen "The Croods" you should add it to your "Not a great movie but definitely worth checking out when it finally hits Netflix" move list. It's the story of a cave man family who live by a couple of simple rules to protect themselves. Rules like "never leave the cave" and "never be afraid." They follow the rules religiously. The rules keep them safe. That works until it doesn't. The daughter decides to challenge the rules.

Often times in movies, the hero has to decide to follow the rules or choose what is right as defined by their own conscience. I've wondered if I were to be faced with a similar choice, what would I do. I suppose it's hard to speculate without specifics.

I remember a night when my mother gave us a flat plate and a marble. She told us to try to have the marble go around the edges as fast as we could. With a flat plate, the marble fell off before we could gain much speed. We repeated the experiment with a bowl. With the bowl, we could get the marble going around the bowl pretty quickly. The lesson to be learned was that boundaries (rules) don't inhibit us, they free us.

When I say that the rules aren't always right, I'm not saying that I think we should do away with rules. I'm saying that there are bigger bowls out there. (Hopefully the analogy isn't getting too vague at this point.)

Linda was a third grader in Topeka Kansas. Her parents got her ready for school and sent her on her way. Linda passed the elementary school by her house. The teachers there thought that she would be more comfortable with people like her at a school a mile further down the road. It was the rule that she attend school at the other location. You see, Linda was a third grader in the 1950s and because of her skin color, she was forced to attend a segregated school.

That mode of thinking almost seemed unbelievable to many of us today, but before it was challenged, it was the norm. Everyone was taught to believe in a set way. The Linda Brown vrs Board of Education law suit challenged that notion and today we can hardly imagine it being any different.

In 50 years, I imagine we will look back and think the same about many beliefs we currently hold on too. So what keeps us from changing? The only answer I have is fear. We have a caveman believe to never not be afraid. It's somehow built into us. Fear of the unknown keeps us safe. It work's until it doesn't and then we discover a whole new world.

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