Why None of Us Have Earned the Right to Let Fear Rule Our Lives

By | July 20, 2014

Recently, I have been obsessed with images from the Civil Rights Movement.

I want to be reminded of how vile human beings could be and the possibility of change.

I want to remind myself that this group of brave soldiers (individuals) faced death, vicious dogs and racist violent cops willing to murder and annihilate children as well as adults.

After witnessing young children and adults being bludgeoned, I no longer can allow myself the luxury of being afraid of anything or anyone for any reason.

Many of us, myself included, have been raised to fear everything.

Many of us, myself included, have been raised to believe that too much attention, acclaim or shine will cause harm and possibly death. When being black could get you killed, you learned to make adjustments and stay alive.

Baby boomers and anyone raised in the 50’s and 60’s have seen so much change and complete destruction of humanity it is a wonder that anyone from that era can ever smile or find joy in anything.

I watch my parents nervously move out of what is familiar all the while waiting for the big bad/punisher that is white supremacy. My parents are talented, capable, personable people and have allowed the world and the people who “run it” dictate how far they will allow themselves to go.

Sometimes, I get extremely angry with them for not fighting back which includes suggesting I shine less or that if I pray and go to church things will work out.

I know nothing of Colored Only areas and the lawlessness of attending certain schools or sitting in the “wrong” area.

It is a disservice and a slap in the face to those who risked their lives in an effort to create freedom to harbor fear as a reason to not fully participate in life.

I have not earned the right to be afraid of anything.

When my fear or apprehension of what may occur rears its head, it is clearly a time for self examination.

If the worst has happened and we’ve collectively survived it what else is there?

When I have allowed myself the freedom to incorporate this realization and do something the results have been phenomenal.

Why don’t more of us live this way ?

It be great to take on anything without the worry, hand wringing and angst that goes along with the “F” word.

When I applied to colleges years ago, my criteria did not include where I could attend based on my color. There was no : I’d like to go to Harvard but they don’t accept colored students.

With change comes uncertainty and nobody wants to be uncertain.

Fear is the big bad that keeps fascist and inhumane laws and people in power.

Fear makes us believe that the status quo is not so bad and should be accepted and endured regardless of who gets hurt or destroyed in the process.

When fear goes unchallenged and is encouraged to run rampant, we all suffer. It finds its way into our lives in the most heinous and unpredictable ways. We suddenly find ourselves unmotivated to make necessary and life improving changes. We become irritable and irrational.

We become quick to judge and dismiss and find it impossible to dream because we have given up.

We learn to distrust those closest to us and rely too heavily on those that mean us ill will.

The worst thing it does is make us not trust ourselves.

Currently, I am experiencing the warm wash of fear as it relates to my career and personal life. I am launching a speaking and writing business that will provide me with a huge amount of public visibility and opportunities to point out inconsistencies and places where we can feel joy.

My mission is to live fearlessly or with the courage of a lion which engenders the opportunity to be afraid and act in spite of the feeling.

Anyone want to join me ?

Anyone tired of being afraid for no good reason?

Let me know how I can help.

2 thoughts on “Why None of Us Have Earned the Right to Let Fear Rule Our Lives

  1. John Mulholland

    Splendid column! Such a fresh take on a subject which is too rarely addressed. You have made me look at who I am, why I am, what I am … and who I can be, why I can be, what I can be. I suspect, once you have launched your speaking and writing (you are a fine, fine writer, Mr. Carter) endeavor, that you will be a smashing success.
    All good wishes, man!


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