August 25     

Today's quotation:

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty.  To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.

Bertrand Russell

Today's Meditation:

I don't like fear-- it's never been very friendly to me.  There are some times when my fear has served me well, such as when it's kept me from the edges of very high cliffs, but usually my fear is just a pain in the neck, a source of negative motivation that keeps me from responding to certain situations in ways in which I'd like to respond to them.  My fears have kept me from meeting really cool people, from developing relationships and friendships, from taking on new and potentially exciting challenges, and many other things.

Superstitions come about because people are afraid, and they use the superstitions to keep themselves from doing things that they're afraid of.  How many mountains have been unexplored because they're "haunted," and how many people have been hurt because their differences made people afraid, so they were persecuted as "witches" or "sorcerers"?  When I don't understand you and thus fear you, it's very easy for me to be cruel to you and treat you badly.

But even if I don't understand you, I can still accept you and treat you well if I don't fear you.  Without fear as a motivator, my treatment of you can be just as humane and compassionate as my treatment of anyone else in my life.  And you deserve my compassion because you're a fellow human being here in this life with me.

If I want to be wise, I need to exercise my acceptance and compassion, and not allow my fear to affect the way I treat others.  After all, I don't see any reason why others would fear me, so why should I fear you?

Questions to consider:

Have your fears ever caused you to treat someone else poorly?

What effects do superstitions have on us?  Why do we so often allow superstitions and false beliefs to determine how we act?

How might you conquer some of your fears?

For further thought:

There is a time to take counsel of your fears, and there is a time to never listen to any fear.

George S. Patton

more thoughts and ideas on fear



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