Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Slam the Door on Fear ; Originally Published in the Christian Science Sentinel

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Slam the Door on Fear ; Originally Published in the Christian Science Sentinel

Article excerpt

A headline in the business section of "The New York Times" read, "Calm Down. That Wolf at the Door Has Been Here Before" (May 23).

The writer implied that fear is the wolf at the door in today's economy - fear of rising interest rates, fluctuating oil prices, low investment yields. Yet he described an optimism that is prevalent despite anxiety about financial instability in the world. Somehow the economy manages to survive even when on a roller coaster of highs and lows.

It sometimes seems to me that we live today in a culture of fear. Especially when there seem to be so many wolves knocking at the door. Since September 11, 2001, the United States government has raised or lowered color-coded warnings related to the fear of terrorism. The wolves at the door also include fear of global warming, of natural disasters, of getting sick, of crime. Fear of just about everything. It's hard to get away from it.

So, what can be done about fear? Do we have a choice?

Television news programs frequently interview people who have put their own lives at risk to help and save others. Bravery seems to transcend almost any fear they could have. A man recently carried some children to safety from a burning house. He wasn't a relative or a firefighter, but someone merely driving by the home as flames consumed it. "What's it like to be a hero?" he was asked. His reply included something about just doing what he felt he had to do. Courage seemed to be just a part of who he was. It never occurred to him to be frightened. And he didn't see himself as a hero. Just an ordinary guy.

Most people would agree that expressing courage and staying calm are important ingredients in dealing with fear. But there may be a need for something more to be added - something bigger, something higher, something more solid. This is a spiritual embrace that prepares us to deal with the wolves of fear. …

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