You see, fear doesn't discriminate. It doesn't care if you are rich or poor, black or white, strong or weak, Christian or Muslim. Fear takes over our bodies and causes a response. Fight or flight? Kill or be killed? Walk away or jump into the fray? Speak or be spoken to? Rise up or or accept? Choose sobriety or addiction?
The great philosopher Walter White said (actually Bryan Cranston said it but I can only imagine him saying it as Walter White), "[Fear] is the real enemy. Get up! Get up in the real world and you kick that bastard as hard as you can right in the teeth."
I was told by someone not too long ago, whom I greatly respect, that you shouldn't tell other people's stories. It's hard to tell my story without telling other people's stories because every person I interact with, even if it's just for a second, have shaped my own story. But, today, I have fear. I have fear that I will someday run out of money. I have fear that I'm not on the right path. I fear that my kids have to grow up in a world that is much more difficult than the world I grew up in. I have fear that I may never impact the world in the way I had imagined I could. I have fear that I may not be the best husband to my wife, father to my children. I have fear that my mistakes might outweigh my successes. I have fear of judgement day.
Maybe that is the greatest bond each of us have as humans? Maybe that is what we can all rally around? America's response to 9/11 is outlined as one time in recent human history where we all came together to fight rather than fly away. Why? We all feared that what happened to those in New York might actually happen to us and we wanted to come together to do everything we could to stop it from happening again. I fear that we are being torn apart by our fear of each other. Instead, let's see that we are all afraid. Let's use that fear as a way to come together to acknowledge our fears, to determine what is real and what is fiction. Maybe, just maybe, we can use it to come together while we continue to bleed in the streets.
Today, I have a choice. Do I allow fear to control my circumstances or do I rise up and thrive in the face of "the real enemy"? Today, I stand up and kick that bastard in the teeth and make my life happen rather than allowing life to happen to me. Stand up with me today and choose to jump into the fray with your brothers and sisters who share your fears.