Probably one of the greatest impediments to finding balance is facing the multitude of fear in our life. What we are inherently fearful of because of our own history is enough to prevent anyone from reaching the fulfillment of who we could be. What makes matters worse is the nonsense that we are besieged with, like the current political climate, where fear is used as a tool to get people riled up and ignoring truth in order to “win”. All of this nonsense lately has been really turning my stomach. What is worse is the misinformation being used to rile people up is then passed on and on getting even more riled up. Fear spreading fear.
One example is the untruth that is constantly being spoken about how Obama gave away money to the financial institutions and they took it and had a good time. Yet, what is not told is that while it was George Bush who initiated TARP and gave out the first round with no strings, Obama put strings on the second round. It was because of those strings that much of that second round of TARP funds were paid back. Huh? What? It was paid back. Eyyuup. Didn’t seem to make the nightly news because of all the Tea Party talk.
Now, let me ask a question. After all that hullabaloo, what has really changed in your life? Let me point out what could have changed if the financial system collapsed because we just let these institutions get what they deserved. I worked for a company back in the 80’s that manufactured heavy equipment. The company really took care of its employees. We had a good medical plan. We were paid good wages. The economy was in a slow down. The inventory was stacking up. We cut production to keep from getting too deep in debt. Then the worst thing that could possibly happen happened. Bank of New England collapsed. We are only talking one bank here, but the affect was horrible. The government at the time took over the bank and set up RECOLL who’s soul purpose was to recall all the outstanding loans. With the economy down, the inventory up, and nothing in the pipe, the company couldn’t get new financing. The owner of the company called everyone into the main factory and with tear filled eyes, told the workers that he was going to have to have the first layoff in company history. He was hoping that in doing so, he could stave off the hounds at the door and keep the company from being shut down. Eventually, I was called into the CFOs office and told to go sign up for unemployment because RECOLL was asking for more money than the company could come up with and they weren’t sure if they could pay us much longer. Fortunately, for me, I got a phone call for a job interview just as I went back into my office to grab my jacket. However, while I was fortunate, the company was not. It eventually was sold to a group and most of the people either moved on or were let go. It is still there, but it is no longer that company that really took care of its employees. Other companies were not as fortunate and had to shut down. That was just because of one bank. Can you imagine the impact on an all ready faltering economy had they allowed many of those banks to shut down? The ripple affect?
I really wanted to talk about personal fears and demons, but I just wanted to point out how our current political environment works on our fears to try to direct public opinion. If they can obfuscate the truth enough, they can get the populous on their side and prevent any real change from happening. How do we fight this? We arm ourselves with truth. In the tech world, we have a saying, Google is your friend. Well Google, Bing, Yahoo, whatever is your favorite or all of them, you can search out something and try to verify it yourself. Stop eating up the fear. Stop feeding the fear. Learn the truth and it will set you free.
Now for a moment, let us talk about personal fear. We all carry fear with us throughout our lives. We learn fear at a very young age. Some of us are exposed to more than others. Some have parents who love and protect them and make them feel safe so that fear has less of a touch. I was talking to a psychologist who had done some work with the child abuse victims of the Catholic Church. He told me that you could see a distinct difference in the reactions between the kids whose parents got angry with them for daring to accuse the priest and the kids whose parents went after the priest or called in the cops. As he put it, the latter kids were made to feel safe despite the horrendous thing that happened to them. All you parents should take heed to that wisdom.
The point is that over the years we are exposed to things that frighten us. Some of us are able to get over these fears. Some of us carry these fears with us through the years. And yet still others, bury the fear and find it resurfaces later in life. Or it remains latent, but can be tapped by those who know how to manipulate people. When we learn to free ourselves from fear, we take away a huge weapon from those who wish to manipulate and control us. We just have to learn not to give in to the fear.
Speaking of those who would use the fear to manipulate us, there was a recent news report regarding a Powerpoint presentation that had been forgotten in a hotel room. It was reported that there was a seminar for Republican fund raisers and this presentation was part of the presentation on how to get people to donate. Now for the richer donors it said to simply play to their vanity. Offer them gifts, coffee mugs, tickets, etc. For the rest, put the fear of God into them that any change brought by the Dems is going to destroy the country and ruin their lives. If you watched the discourse during the Health Care debate, it appeared to have worked. So much misinformation was passed around as truth that many got caught up in it and just started passing the same crap around to others. Our fears were played with and we took it.
So how do we change ourselves? How do we overcome fears, real or perceived? First off, take a breath. Really, for some it is as simple as that. Take a breath and then turn on your bullshit meter. Start asking questions. Does this seem real? Use your favorite search engine, Google, Yahoo, Bing, or whatever and do the research. Stop taking things at face value, especially in this political climate, but do the research. Take the time to arm yourself with the truth. Ask questions about the source. What do they have to gain? Is there a method to their madness? Try to find balance in news reports. If you hear something from Fox News, balance it with something from Huffington Post.
We have enough to deal with all the fears that we carry on our own. We should not allow other people to try to use our inherent fears to control and manipulate us. We need to work to overcome our fears. Go see a counselor, a psychologist, or yeah, even a parent. Work to overcome the fears we carry. Then work on educating ourselves rather than take the easy road of being fed what we should believe by people with agendas. Franklin Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Let us all work to move beyond the fear and manipulation.
I pray you strength and courage on your journey.
My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.