Fear gripping a country can be reversed

When a country is crippled by fear and violence, what can we do to help?

Each day in the newspaper we read of political and social upheavals throughout the world. In nation after nation people are demanding economic and political freedom and the rights of self-government and democracy. Confrontations between peoples and their governments may be violent and tragic, as last year's events in Beijing's Tiananmen Square sadly illustrate.

As a black South African, I am very familiar with these aspirations and with political upheaval. My country has seen terrible violence, and like my countrymen, I've felt keenly the tensions and rumors that can sweep a country. Fear, like a bush fire, spreads very fast. It spreads itself by means of the telephone, television, radio, and newspapers, affecting everybody. It can spread itself by word of mouth, especially if the media are gagged or restricted. What can individual citizens do to help bring peace and healing to an inflamed situation?

January 8, 1990

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