FEAR. In the story of Chicken Little we learn an important lesson about fear. After an acorn falls on Chicken Little’s head, Chicken Little assumes the sky is falling and runs off to tell her friends. She and her friends ultimately meet up with the fox, who cleverly takes advantage of their fear and eats them! As young children we learn, as our great leader FDR in the heart of WWII once shared with us that “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”.
So, I ask what is happening to us as a society today? We seem utterly gripped with fears:
- our over-parenting of children,
- the ideological corners we’ve staked out in,
- the catastrophic belief that we are destroying our planet,
- the fear of facing our own frailties as we project perfection to the world through social media,
- fear of commitment through dependence on a spouse…
This list is endless.
Fear alternatively leads us to give up on life and any standards, as we profess that “No One Shall Judge Another” or certain fears lead us to hold onto life so tight that we fail to actually live it. Life is about risk. Life has never been a guarantee. Life has ups and downs. That is what it means to be alive. Yet we seem to think that we should be living in a state of perfection with ourselves, each other and the world.
Perfection is Impossible
Perfection is not possible. It’s time we stopped pretending that we have ultimate control. When we fear so strongly, we lose our ability to bring about change in those areas in which we can improve the world. By over protecting our children, instead of making them safer and stronger, we create children who are incapable and weak. By staking an ideological extreme, instead of moving forward with change, we fight with others and create a stalemate. By fearing that we are destroying our planet, we stop interacting with it and lose our appreciation for it. By pretending that we are perfect in our on-line personas, we stop focusing on true self-improvement. Our lack of commitment puts us on the defensive instead of making us stronger – always on guard for every slight and rarely self-assured.
Embrace the Fear
Embrace your fears- learn from it and then let it go. We can only look past our fears when we stop focusing on them and instead focus on life. By doing this, most fears will pass us by. And with each passing day, we gain strength in the face of fear so that even when the worst comes to be, somehow we are able to continue seeing the blessings and gifts – allowing us to truly live instead of cower in fear.