To the Editor:
In “Someone’s Knocking at My Door” (Sunday Review, Jan. 13), Laszlo Krasznahorkai writes about his (our) “deepest personal anxiety.” His haunting narrative of fear and anxiety stalking and threatening him describes perfectly the deep personal and inner fears I see in so many of my parishioners and neighbors.
I believe that it is this unspoken fear and anxiety that is behind our obsession with personal protection.
I talk with people who have, when you listen, a real fear, dread and anger against any number of dangerous stalkers. These unnamed, unknown dangers come in many guises: foreigners, minorities, different religious backgrounds, big government, politicians, liberals, authority at various levels, the list goes on.
I believe that this fear has an effect on all sorts of self-defense and protection choices: self-defense classes, gated communities, private police services and a huge upswing in gun purchases in the last weeks, as you reported.
As a Presbyterian minister, I believe that what is needed to counteract fear is community interaction, interfaith understanding, civic trust and neighbor helping neighbor—the kind of actions we witnessed after Hurricane Sandy.
Simply put, we need faith, hope and love. Who is knocking at your door?
DONALD M. PITCHES
Carlstadt, N.J., Jan. 14, 2013