This is the first part in a new series of blog posts. In my previous series, How to Change the World, I talked about just basic things we could do to change the world and make it a better place. As I read through the series, and in observing people on Twitter and Facebook, I realized we need to explore ourselves before we can even grasp the concept of fixing the things around us. Today, I will begin with fear, as that seems to be the root of all the problems we face in our world.
Fear is one of the most basic human emotions. It is the thing that keeps us alive, allowing us to avoid perceived dangers, and causes us to withdraw, hide, or run. If you just watch one hour of news, its easy to see that there are so many things can be afraid of. But the question arises as to whether we should be afraid. There is a fundamental statement which we must all remember — we will all die one day. There is no avoiding it — nor should we. And if we spend our lives worrying about it, we never have time to enjoy what time we do have.
My friend just died, as you may have read in my previous post. He was only 48, only 5 years older than myself. Two years ago, my Grams died, and she was 92. When I was 1-year-old, my twin brother and sister died after only one day. There is no pattern, there is no way to predict it, and there is certainly no way to avoid it. All of us have been exposed to death at some point in our lives. A friend, a pet, a parent, a sibling, a spouse, a child. It happens. And each time we do experience it, it fans a burning fear in our chest, wondering if we, or someone else around us, will be next.
If you take a long hard look at what you fear, you’ll probably find that it all leads back to avoiding harm and death. None of us like to suffer or be in pain, and we certainly don’t look forward to death. I know many people who live in constant fear, and I can tell you from my perspective, they are not at all happy. It’s not easy to release fears, especially the deep seeded ones.
I am here to tell you that you can shed your fear. I used to live with a legion of fears, and then one day, I decided I would not allow it to control me anymore. I don’t know what the catalyst was. I just woke up one day and realized that I was reclusive, withdrawn and aggravated with the world. I just stayed with my family and my small circle of friends. It’s easy to become disheartened. We turn on the news and someone is killing someone, or we are involved in war, or we see horrible acts of violence against our fellow humans. It’s okay to be concerned and careful. But fear eats away at the soul.
It was only when I shed my fear that I was able to live. And when we shed our fears, and realize that its unnecessary and unavoidable, we can start to look at the world around us with a renewed sense of hope and do it. Changing the world begins with changing ourselves and humanity. Look at those around you, learn from their fears in order to address your own.
So tonight I leave you with this one question: What do you fear the most and why?
Don’t just read it, think about it and answer. Sometimes speaking it out loud, will allow you to confront it and end it.