Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
When I think about where our country is headed, one of the biggest deterrents to positive change seems to be fear. I can’t help but think back to reading Dune in high school and memorizing the quotation “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
Our National Fear
I can still recite this quotation from memory but never really thought about it on a national level. The truth (as I see it, of course) is that we’ve allowed ourselves to stand back and watch our freedoms disappear as a result of uninformed patriotism. Through a War on Terror, the surrendering of rights through bills like “The Patriot Act,” and our building a wall between the U.S. and our southern neighbor, we have cut off compassion and our connection to anyone outside of our self-focused insular bubble.
Have we not lived up to Dune’s call to reflect on why we fear and whether that fear has any rhyme or reason? I would guess not. That’s fear doing its fearful thing—making people run into corners where they won’t stop to question. Nor will they look for comfort behind the Shepherd’s rod and staff.
From Fear to Love
How do we move forward? If Dune and Psalm 23 aren’t enough for you, try out this verse: (II Timothy 1:7) “For God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.”
This verse tells me that hiding will not strip away our fear. The monsters are still in the closet. They’re still under the bed. When we have good courage, we hail to the Creator’s power. That power is love. Love allows us to let fear wash over us with the knowledge that we will still remain. And we do. We do!
In celebration of this, I want to encourage you all to think of the people in your life who inspire good courage. Celebrate their accomplishments by nominating them for The Freedom From Fear Award.
“The Freedom From Fear Award is a new national award that will honor fifteen ordinary people who have committed extraordinary acts of courage on behalf of immigrants and refugees—individuals who have taken a risk, set an example, and inspired others to awareness or action. The award seeks to honor unsung heroes who are not professional advocates. Based on nominations from people like you, awardees will receive a $5,000 cash award.” Nominations are due by February 28, 2011. See their website for more details.
The best solution for moving from fear to love and courage is to sing out the stories of those who do not shelter themselves in the face of fear. Proclaim their stories and, through your proclamation, act boldly too!