Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
The world is a narrow bridge, but the main thing is not to fear.
(Rabbi Nachman of Breslov)
I’m offering the quotes above as something of an antidote to the politics of fear that are once again gracing the airwaves. Apparently with things on the line in the Pennsylvania primary, Hilary Clinton has released an ad (above) that features a series of fear-inducing images – including one of the ubiquitous Osama Bin Laden. She also recently appeared on Good Morning America to remind us all that the US has the capacity to “obliterate” Iran.
No matter who you may vote for, I urge you to resist the temptation to give in to political fearmongering which, truth be told, really didn’t serve us all that well in the last two elections. And no matter what you might think about the state of our world, I implore you, as Reb Nachman reminds us above, not to succumb your basest fears. If you’re looking for a different way, here’s an insight from Burmese Human Rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi (one of the bravest people on the planet):
“Fear is not the natural state of civilized people.”
I can remember the words of FDR, and how they revitalized a depressed community: “:The only thing to fear is fear itself.”
Doesn’t sound reasonable sixty-some years later, but it was powerful then, and can energize us now.