"There's nothing wrong with being scared....long as you don't let it change who you are." --Grammie's Ghost in ParaNorman

Some of the quotes I collect I write down because they teach me something, or give me hope, or make me smile; this one was like a kick in the gut.

I know that throughout my life I have let fear change who I am many, many times. I have behaved in ways that are not the "me" I want to be because I was scared more times than I can remember or perhaps even count. I still do.

We all do, I think.

Fear may be the number one emotion that drives us here in the United States. And there is so much to fear. Crime. Disease. Job loss. Retirement. Natural disasters. Death.

But I am not sure it is these larger fears that drive us day to day so much as the smaller ones: being found out, being known and disliked, being seen and rejected, being judged and found wanting.

The irony, I think, is that if we did not allow our fears to change who we are we would be likable. It is the part of us that reacts out of fear that lies, cheats, steals, deceives, abuses.

What would happen if each of us, the next time we were faced with fear, reacted not with bad behavior, but with compassion and curiosity? What if we sat with it for a time? What if we felt it long enough that it dissipated before it could change who we are?

I think maybe this could change the world.


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