To Fear or not to Fear Theory

The reason I began Craigisms was because I had created quotes that people remembered because it opened their minds or it was catchy. One quote that has stuck in my mind throughout the years was Franklin D Roosevelt’s inaugural speech in 1933 where he said “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” I remember it like I was there when it occurred. Unfortunately, in today’s world we found ourselves fearing more than just fear and senseless acts of terror make it that much more difficult not to fear our own lives day after day.

Most of you know, by the non-stop news coverage, about the senseless attack that occurred at a night club in Orland, FL. Many will speculate, conspiracy theorist will add their opinions and numerous investigations by law enforcement agencies will uncover information that will create sensory overload. Domestic terrorism is just as real as terrorism that occurs overseas. We may be a country internationally recognized as having the strongest military power but we do not have unlimited resources to cover every inch of the world or the United States. This doesn’t stop people from voicing their concerns that America needs to change, or the purchase of firearms by citizens needs to be more restrictive, or foreign citizens should be more closely monitored.

It’s the people who keep to themselves that all of a sudden have a solution to solving these types of problems. Better yet we all have some solution in mind but our voice is only heard through social media and rarely through the elected officials we vote into public office. Our voice is translated into a digital footprint that is spread amongst a series of friends and in some cases amongst the many with the use of hashtags. Here is the true question, “Are our words on social media actually heard by those who have the power to create or initiate change?” I certainly don’t have time to read every single post from my Facebook newsfeed so how can I expect my elected officials to do the same?

Regardless if our concerns or resolutions make it to the right people it doesn’t eliminate the fear that we all have about becoming the next victim of a terror attack or from someone who has a total disregard for human life. The one mistake we make though is identifying an attack on the masses as being a terror attack. We used to identify terrorist attacks as ones that are planned out and carefully calculated by a known terrorist organization such as the attacks that occurred on 9/11 by Al Qaeda.

Today any incident involving multiple casualties where the perpetrator is identified as having some ideological fixation or affiliation with a known terrorist group is labeled as a terrorist. To me this is different as this person did not come to the United States with the only intention of carrying some sort of attack. This is a person who has been influenced through an ideological set of principles. Granted it’s terrorists groups who encourage this type of behavior but this person was influenced over time whether through social media or even the news.

Now that I have gone on about my opinion on how this works, in so few words, lets return back to the fear aspects of these attacks. Every time an attack like this occurs on American soil it spreads fear amongst the impacted community but quickly spreads worldwide once it reaches social media and new outlets. Theories begin to discuss how this attack could lead to more attacks whether it be at a well-known amusement park, sporting event, convention center or any place that would house thousands of people at any given time. Should I not go to these places for fear of falling victim to the next attack? Absolutely not. I don’t want to stop living my life because I fear the next terror attack. For all I know I could lose my life to a car accident or natural causes. The best advice I can give to people who live in fear because of terrorists is live your life the way you want because you never know when or how it will end.

FDR talks about fearing fear itself. This is very true because we allow ourselves to fear many things. Those fears translate into actions or reactions that alter everyday living. It changes the way we think about things and what in our life needs to change as a result of that fear. Because of this our life is filled with a constant need to change to adapt to the new mindset. We allow these fears to negatively affect us or in some cases create a more positive approach to life. Events like the one in Orlando, FL remind us that we should never take life for granted and that we need to ensure our loved ones know how much we care and love them. Is the last argument with someone worth dwelling over not knowing what will happen in the new few minutes, hours or days? Should I stop going to clubs because one was attacked by a selfless human being or should I not go because I am getting too old? I prefer to not go because I think I am getting too old for it.

We must remember that life is all about making choices and fearing something or someone is included in that. To fear someone only creates the sense of superiority for that person. The people who died in Flight 93 certainly did not die from fear because some of the passengers chose to fight back. They overcame their fears and did what was necessary to save the thousands that would have died if the aircraft hit its intended target. That is how we should live our life, free of or by minimizing the fear so we can be in control of our own lives. You will find yourself opening up and doing things you never thought you would ever do because you overcame the fear. If you got to this point in my blog you may have overcome that fear of boredom because I was able to keep you engaged. Life to the fullest and just remember those words from FDR, “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

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