Facing the World with Fearlessness

Fear is the emotion most disruptive emotion to human relationships. Because of this, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva not only relieves suffering but also makes us fearless. He is a strong and able individual providing protection for the weak and helpless. “Fear not, I support you!” This spirit of support is of great importance.

Due to the fact that he grants courage to sentient beings who cry out for help, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is sometimes referred to as the “Giver of Fearlessness.” On the other hand, there are people who fail to “give” fearlessness, but rather, cause others to fear them. Their speech and actions can be intimidating or even terrorizing. Instead of quieting fears, they fill the world with obstacles, setbacks, or even conflict so that others live in danger and crisis, unable to attain peace of mind.

Although we should give fearlessness to others, it is often difficult to do so. There are so many things to fear in life. For instance, when we interact with other people, we do not know whether the other person will harm or help us in the future. We are always wary of any changes. When hiring staff, corporations ask for prospective employees’ personal data so they are forewarned of their history. In the family, parents often teach the younger generation to bear no ill will toward others, but also to always be cautious. Yet even between members of a family, there is the fear of disrupting the harmonious relationships between them. Company always has contingency plans in case insubordinates cause damage to its operations. Every country has various organizations implementing measures against spies, corruption, thefts, leaks of confidential information, and sabotage. In America, the CIA, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and police protect citizens against any individuals, situations, and causes and conditions that are potentially sources of trouble and fear for the populace.

While there is an abundance of sages and kind people in our world, there are also many people who are bound to greed, anger, and ignorance, like beings from the realms of animals, hungry ghosts, and hell. To avoid becoming like them, we should learn to be courageous and wise in life. “Those with tolerance have no fear, and those with benevolence have no enemies.” So long as do not make decisions we’ll regret, we need not fear a guilty conscience. “So long as we can keep our boat steady, we need not fear the waves rocking it.” When we are law-abiding and treat others with compassion and righteousness, we can be open in life and able to face the world fearlessly.

As humans, we should have the compassion, wisdom, and courage to provide protection to all sentient beings in the world. We must vow to be the umbrella that shelters them from rain, the light that drives away the darkness in the night, the ship carrying them away from the ocean of suffering, and the home sheltering them from wind and cold. We need to give fearlessness to others, just as Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva does.