F is for fear

aFear is natural, instinctual. It “is a vital response to physical and emotional danger—if we didn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats.”

What we do with fear is what matters. Living in fear can negatively affect our health. As I recall, FDR said something on the subject.

I notice the Capital District Transportation Authority’s rotating messages on the buses. They often tout the energy efficiency of public transportation, or occasionally root for local college teams in the NCAA tournament, or wish us happy holidays. Right after the massacre in San Bernardino, CA, in which 14 people were killed, the buses read, “If you see something, say something.” Sad, but understandable, I suppose.

Less comprehensible was the call from one of the Presidential candidates to ban Muslims from entering the United States. Not only was it abhorrent, and of dubious Constitutional standing, it played right into the hands of DAESH. As Ted Koppel, former anchor of the ABC News program Nightline, noted: The “tough talk” made Donald Trump “in effect the recruiter in chief” for the terrorist organization.

In the introduction of the anthem We Shall Overcome, on the seminal 1963 album Live at Carnegie Hall, Pete Seeger says, “The next verse is ‘We are not afraid’… Like every human being in the world, We HAVE been afraid. But we still sing it. ‘We are not afraid.'”

One of my pastors explained Seeger’s exhortation in terms usually associated with scripture. It is the “prophetic present tense,” a future hope stated as if it has already come to pass. Think the Pledge of Allegiance’s “with liberty and justice for all,” more goal than achievement.

The Transitional Presbyter for Albany Presbytery, Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo wrote: “Our fears are the things that hold us back.” There may be fearless people out there, I suppose. But most of us have fear, afraid to do certain things; optimally, we find a way to do it, fear notwithstanding.

ABC Wednesday – Round 18

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

20 thoughts on “F is for fear”

  1. How right you are! He was!

    I always try to keep an open mind… not let fear guide me in any way but i sadly have to admit that i don’t always succeed in that… My good is not always good enough, but i keep on trying.

    Have a nice abc-day / – week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

  2. When I went up north to teach in the wilderness of British Columbia, many of my friends said I was crazy! “Aren’t you scared of grizzly bears?” “Aren’t you scared of living alone up there?” “What if your car breaks down?” etc. etc. Well, I went. I survived the bears, the mosquitoes, the drug-addled kids at the school, the natives, etc. etc. Would I go back? NO! But I’m glad I did it.

    abcw team

  3. Don’t talk about D. Trunk, whole Europe is asking themselves how is it possible that such a clown becomes a candidate for President !

  4. You may remember my theme post for this year: No Fear! But of course for some, like Kaney (spelling?) West, that means to go in debt, like 53 million and then ask everyone for help.

  5. You’ve got my brain going again with your post on fear. Quotes are buzzing around in my head. Hope you are having a great week!

  6. Totally agree that the fears do hold us back! At times its difficult to fight it back. But we need to! Great post!
    Srivi, ABCW

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