Thursday, August 23, 2012

Be Not Afraid!

The first words that John Paul II spoke to the thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square after he was elected Pope in 1978 were “Be not afraid”. I think he was on to something. There is too much fear in our lives. Admittedly, some fear is a good thing. It was fear of saber tooth tigers that kept many prehistoric men and women alive. The guy that tried to pet one of the tigers didn’t make it. Why are we so afraid? The truth is that most of the things we worry ourselves to death over never happen. Our time has been called the “Age of Anxiety”. We are an anxious, fearful generation. I have read that some personality types are fear based and that the majority of our population is made up of these types. These personality types tend to live “in their heads”. One author deduced that this indicates that fear is mostly in our heads. Even for the rest of us I don’t think our brains are hard wired to comfort us. I read somewhere that if we don’t intentionally think positive thoughts our brains automatically revert to negative thinking. I also believe that much of our fear and anxiety is caused by the media. Because of this believe I now minimize the amount of news that I watch. At one point the news, especially the local news, made me so anxious that I couldn’t take the trash out after dark without wondering if there was a serial killer waiting for me in my back yard. Let me reinforce the words of Pope John Paul and countless other teachers. Be not afraid! Quit worrying so much! Do things that for yourself that bring calm into your life. Relax and live. Be happy! Enjoy every minute of the day.

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