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Fear

By Remy Benoit

    If you take a few minutes to ponder the decisions that you have made today, or will make today, is it possible that some of those decisions were made on the basis of fear?
   Some fears are natural, indeed, healthy. Fear in a combat, properly directed, can help you stay alive.

   But what about the other fears in our lives?

   If you were asked to make a list of the things you fear most, and were actually able to write down those fears and look at them, would you be able to explain why you have them, or where they came from?

   We grew up with admonitions are children; admonitions designed to protect us from our own inexperience.

   When you look at snow, do you see the wonder of the design of each unique flake, or do you see possibilities of accidents on iced road surfaces?  Is your fear of icy traffic, of possibilities of having a break down with all its inconvenience overshadowing your ability to enjoy the quiet beauty of a snow fall?

    Are you afraid of your debts, of your possible inability to pay them?  Does it bother you what your friends might think if they knew your credit rating was not perfect?

   Are you afraid your hair style is not current enough; your lipstick the right color?

   Are you afraid to use the "good things" because they might break or get stained?

Do you fear foreigners because of some textbook description that used some generalized and vague allusion to them as different from you?

   Whatever your fear, someone, sometime has known it before.  Some of our fears are minor ones; others are phobias we usually don't understand the origins of; and yet others are collective.

   On January 6, 1941 Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed Congress with what has come to be known as The Four Freedoms Speech:

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression -- everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way --everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want -- which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants -- everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear -- which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor-- anywhere in the world.

   That was in January of 1941.  We all know what came in December, and yet, yet we prevailed and protected all of those Four Freedoms.

   Can you take your fear to a bigger place?

   Can you look at it, try to find its origin, and use what you find to help, to collectively help, others to live with those Four Freedoms?  Can you put your fear into a different perspective and instead of its using you and weighing you down; instead of its acting like a vampire sucking out your life's energy, can you turn it to healing others' problems.  

   If you feel fear of snow storms and the concomitant cold, perhaps you could find a way to bring blankets to shelters to warm their nights.

   If you feel powerless when it comes to money, can you learn new ways to manage it; straighten out your own problems and then find others who need help and assist them?

If you are very fashion conscious perhaps you could learn to design a truly "YOU" look and help others to do that. Something that shows off you unique features, enhances your self-image.

If you are afraid of damaging "collections" that are perfectly matched, then add unique pieces to it, pieces that consciously don't match.

If the thought of foreign travel unnerves you, can you try the next town, and then the next, expanding your horizons?

While you are doing these things, not only are you empowering yourself, you are learning new ways of viewing things, yourself, and eventually others and their problems. The smallest steps lead to the solutions of the biggest problems.

Keep in mind; there are all kinds of dictators, and some of the most destructive are our own fears.

Who knows, in one of your unique solutions to a personal small or large fear, you might find the key that opens the door to the universal enjoyment of the Four Freedoms.
Be peace, Remy
For a full text of The Four Freedoms Speech, please visit:Four Freedoms.

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This item is part of WelcomeHomeSoldier.com: historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.


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