On Fear–and Freedom

I will admit it: Motivation was harder to find this week.

So I wanted to post some helpful and hopeful words in the week since the attacks in Paris. My heart aches for the city. And for Beirut. And for Nigeria.

But I woke up this morning, saw the news, and now my heart hurts for Bamako, Mali.

So many places affected by such senseless violence. And I thought: What inspiration could I possibly offer when so many people are feeling such grief and fear?

My thoughts went to the first Inaugural Address by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt:

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.

Courtesy C-SPAN

And to the “Freedom From Fear” speech by Aung San Suu Kyi:

Fearlessness may be a gift but perhaps more precious is the courage acquired through endeavor, courage that comes from cultivating the habit of refusing to let fear dictate one’s actions, courage that could be described as ‘grace under pressure’–grace which is renewed repeatedly in the face of harsh, unremitting pressure.

Enrich your intellect and spirit by reading her full speech.

These speeches–from two different people, times and places–remind us that periods of great trial are nothing new. They also remind us to not give in to the grief and fear we rightly feel.

Read or watch the speeches. Heed the advice for the days, weeks and months to come.

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