The Threat of Fear…

Johnny-on-the-Spot … by John Foster …

After being elected to the Presidency of the United States in November, 1932, President Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to clear the air and boost up America.

In his inaugural address, the nation was in the depths of the Great Depression and FDR wanted us to regain faith in ourselves.

There were 13 million unemployed Americans (23.6% unemployment rate) and almost every bank in the nation was closed. The Gross Domestic Product was forecast to be MINUS 12.9%.

That compares to 2022’s GDP number of 3.6% and a jobless rate of 3.1%.

Promising prompt and vigorous action, the newly-elected President asserted “So first of all, let me assert my firm belief ‘the only thing we have to fear is fear itself’, nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

Nearly ninety years later, the Department of Homeland Security tells us in it’s National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin of a “threat environment” in this nation.

In the coming months, the DHS says “public gatherings, faith-based institutions and schools, racial and religious minorities, government facilities and personnel;, critical U.S. infrastructure, media and perceived ideological opponents” may all be targets of violence.

It is the assessment of the DHS report that the ‘primary threat of mass casualty violence in the United States stems from lone offenders and small groups, motivated by a range of ideological beliefs and/or perceived grievances’.

Our fascination with immediate access to information, whether valid or not is like spreading chum in shark-infested waters.

Opinions and perspectives, valid or not, are spewed over a variety of media options, some of which I wonder about their reasons behind immediately sharing it with us.

Not only do we no longer speak eloquently but we have to talk in “sound bites” of 20 seconds or less because so many of us don’t have “the time” to listen any longer.

Years ago, the mantra of the media was, “If it bleeds, it leads”.

Today, the media standard is to toss a “flash bang grenade” into society, leaving me to wonder how long it will be before someone establishes a make-shift memorial, complete with balloons, flowers and teddy bears.

Then we dance before the media cameras with our placards and chants, with fists raised into the air, all the while as nothing changes.

That may be due to the numbing effect of fear that has created.

But F.E.A.R. has two meanings;

“Forget Everything And Run” or “Face Everything And Rise”.

The choice is yours.

I think there is a purposeful effort to create fear and keep us all fearful.

If we feel compelled to “hunker down” and not publicly associate with one another, ideas and opinions aren’t discussed.

Problems fester. Negativity spreads in the darkroom of isolation.

It was just a few months ago, we couldn’t even get closer than 6 feet apart, be unmasked or shake hands.

Now that we’ve moved beyond that, the World Health Organization is screeching about “money pox” which, at its’ own count has affected a few thousand people in a world of nearly 8 billion folks.

Do the math.

You’re at greater risk of death from driving to the store in your vehicle to buy tainted peanut butter.

I am weary of voices that spew negativity about this nation.

Say what you want about the immigration issue but at last check, these folks want to COME hear rather than LEAVE.

Does that make any sense if the United States was the cesspool some would like us to believe it is?

Realistic positive voices need to speak louder today.

Remember, the squeaking wheel always gets the grease.

American businessman W. Clement Stone believed, “Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.”

American writer and lecturer Dale Carnegie told us, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage.”

Recently, a medical study showed optimistic people tend to live longer and are at a lower risk of an early death.

I’m reminded, though, of the man who went in for a complete health check-up.

The doctor told him, “You need to quit smoking, cut back on drinking, no more carousing and partying.”

The patient asked, “If I do all that, will I live longer” to which the physician replied, “no, it will just seem longer.”

We can’t expect our lives to be absent of fear.

Author podcaster and lifestyle guru Tim Ferriss said, “If the challenge we face doesn’t scare us, then it’s probably not that important.”

So, if you’re weary of the societal status quo but are afraid to speak up, remember Canadian writer Robin S. Sharma who said, “Being scared is part of being alive, Accept it. Walk through it.”

My glass is always half-full.

Anyone else care to take a sip?

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