Saturday, February 25, 2012

Overcoming fear

Fear is a hot commodity these days.  Looking at today's StarTribune I was reminded of this with their leading headline "Iran stockpile fuels new fears".  It was this sort of fear that lead to our nation into its preemptive war in Iraq.

Rick Steves suggested we ought to at least go and visit some of these countries before we drop bombs on them.  Sadly too much of our nation's military action has been been based on unfounded speculation and fear. Fear keeps us from getting to know others that look differently than we do or who may be from other political backgrounds or faith traditions.

Fear and negativity also seem to be winning the day in political campaigning.  Republican candidates are constantly speaking badly and spreading fear of their fellow Republican candidates and President Obama.  Don't really know what they are for, but they certainly seem to be against an awful lot.

We diminish our human potential by living in fear.  Following are some quotes relating to this subject and which encourage us to live courageously.

If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living. -  Seneca

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.  -  Ambrose Redmoon

For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline  - 2 Timothy 1:17

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage  - Anais Nin

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.  -  T.S. Elliot


  1. You are right on target with this post. We had a classroom discussion related to this after a murder in town... very rare in Blue Earth. Seneca's quote is my favorite! Thanks, Dan.

  2. Thanks Dave. Glad that you're taking on such important subject matters in your class. Not likely to be on the MN Comprehensive Exams however...

  3. That photo is great for the topic, too. I'm sometimes amazed at the audacity of the frailest in nature. Fear is not the defining condition of life; it is antagonistic if anything.

    Caution is different than fear, though, and I think we can get those confused. Steves seems to call for caution and care (stewardship?) as the alternative to fear. Thanks for the thoughts (here and elsewhere -- I don't read your blog enough!)