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Meditations on fear

Freedom from fear.

This was one of FDR’s four freedoms that he spoke of in the 1941 state of the union, when he went beyond what the Constitution called for and again expanded the purpose of government beyond what it is supposed to do.

But is this a legitimate freedom, and if so, how is it secured for yourself and your posterity?

I say it is, but because of the nature of fear it is fruitless to try to get someone else to keep you free from it.

What is fear? One acronym I like says it is False Evaluations Appearing Real. You are a creature of perception, and always will be; truth is absolute, only your perception of it varies. This may seem like a simple statement of obvious fact, but in some circles it is a radical worldview. You observe and evaluate every minute of your life. If your evaluations are correct, you will make more accurate predictions and take more effective actions. If they are not correct, you will be guided by bad decisions. You will perceive a danger and act against it even if it is not there. One key to defeating fear is to learn how to make effective evaluations, and in doing so, better decisions.

Another key is humility. By this I do not mean the sense that you are not worthy of such and such award. I mean having an accurate self-perception, neither thinking too much or too little of oneself. It isn’t bragging if you can do it, to put it in simpler terms. If you are humble, you need not fear what others think of you, for you will build a reputation of honesty about what you can do and admitting when you can’t. From that you have no grounds to fear what others think of you.

And what of fear of your enemy, the one who shoots at you? To quote from General Jackson in the movie Gods and Generals:

“My religious beliefs teach me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time of my death. I do not concern myself with that, but to be always ready whenever it may overtake me. That is the way all men should live, and all men would be equally brave.”

Overcome your fears now, before they take the opportunity, provided by circumstance, to kill you.

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  1. 24 January 2011 at 01:14

    I love that Jackson quote from the movie. It’s been with me from the first time I heard it.


  2. 24 January 2011 at 23:47

    Lord, make me fast and accurate.
    Let my aim be true and my hand faster than those who would seek to destroy me.
    Grant me victory over my foes and those that wish to harm to me and mine.
    Let not my last thought be “If only I had my gun”; and Lord if today is truly the day that You call me home, let me die in a pile of brass.

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