I hate fear. I have fallen victim to it. It sucks. I’ve had it used against me, and didn’t fight it. Next time I’ll fight back.
Unfortunately we are surrounded by fear these days.
It’s one thing to fear failure, it can be a great motivator, but when we start fearing mistakes, fearing decisions, fearing choices, fearing the weather, fearing people, fearing places, fearing ideas…everyone loses. The Dark Side Looks Back.
Dictators (and most lawyers) have long used fear for their purposes, but today everyone seems to be fear mongering. Politicians. Religious leaders. The Authorities. Even the Weatherman. If you look carefully you’ll see it everywhere.
For some reason fear has become systemic in our society despite it being hugely inefficient and destructive.
Maybe it’s because it’s easy to “lead” with fear. Using the carrot and the stick is bad enough as a leadership strategy. The stick alone… horrendous for everyone, but a lot less work. The problem is that even the “leader” becomes dissatisfied, discouraged, disappointed in those around him, worse yet, in himself. But we keep doing it.
History is filled with those who leveraged and brokered fear. Kahn, Mao, Hussein, Escobar, the list goes on and one, and it is growing I’m “afraid.” Just put on the news, pick a candidate, they are all brokering in fear. We would do well to remember what history teaches us about those who broker in fear.
You might even be doing yourself, and to yourself! Yep, I do it.
Sometimes I rationalize, justify, make excuses as to why something shouldn’t be done because it is risky in some way. I get scared. I’m afraid.
Sometimes the reason is legitimate. We all have responsibilities to our family, our job, our employees, our boss, our friends, etc. but we can’t forget who we are responsible to the most. Ourselves.
So promise yourself to stop using your own fear against you! Please!
And then, join me in a crusade to be more like Yoda. Challenge those who broker in fear.
Ask them: What Are YOU afraid of?
Write. Speak. Act. Do it respectfully but fearlessly. Be courageous.
Start with yourself, do something you are afraid of as soon as you can. Do something you’ve always wanted to do but that scares you. You’ll be better for it. We all will.
(I started this post as a political statement…then thought about how often religion implores us to steer clear of the destructive nature of fear…finally I decided that I wouldn’t become part of the problem, and remembered that next week I have tickets to Star Wars! Wahoo!)