Almost every time I mention I’m headed to Israel at the end of June, people fear for my life. Somehow the conflict there scares them more than the conflicts here. So I just want everyone to know, if I die in Israel, I’m okay with it.

The same applies if I would die today crossing the street to get my mail, in August if I’d slip off Mount Princeton while hiking, or if I would have been hit by a bullet in Orlando on June 12—I’d be okay with it.

Photo Credit: Pix-@-Lot (Creative Commons)

Photo Credit: Pix-@-Lot (Creative Commons)

The issue for me isn’t whether I can die going somewhere like Israel or doing something like hiking, the issue exists in why people are concerned.

What is it that makes a certain area or group of people raise alarm in the minds of those who aren’t there?

It’s not their potential danger, it’s our ignorance.


In 2014, 72% of all deaths in America were health related.
You’re more likely to be killed in a car accident than you are on a plane.
And the odds are that a piece of furniture will crush you before a terrorist kills you.

Maybe our concerns should be more focused on our health, not texting while driving, and to be sure that TV mount is securely fastened, but when we allow the simple unawareness of a place and a people rush us into fear, then we are doing a major injustice to our world.

Too often we trust the media’s ideas, the opinions of friends, and glimpse of situation without ever seeking out the truth. This mindset lands you just like most of the Europeans in the 1400s. No one thought reaching Asia by going west was possible and if attempted, would result in death. Columbus wouldn’t believe these claims without giving it a try. Although he didn’t reach Asia, he did discover the truth.

Every news source in America had their opinion on the Orlando shooting within minutes of it happening. Eventually, extremist Islam ties would be linked to the shooter, but that doesn’t make all of Islam evil as many Americans believe now and believed more strongly after this event. Even so, today, Muslims around America made a dynamic showing of prayer for the victims. So which reveals the truth?

Fear is a predisposed idea of what we think will happen.

Without knowledge of the truth, without exploration to find the facts, I don’t think we should be fearful. All we are doing is creating a bubble to live in a disillusioned world that abstains you and others around you from knowing. Knowledge is the greatest weapon any man or woman can possess. It’s why I travel to at least one foreign country a year, read numerous books, listen to life stories people tell me over coffee, and look at the world with discerning, hopeful eyes.

Maybe it’s not that you are scared that I’ll die on one of my whimsical trips, maybe it’s not that you are scared of Islam, maybe it’s just that you haven’t taken enough initiative to know, to understand.

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