Monday, January 12, 2009

The clouds are shifting

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

This quote has appeared twice to me today, and when that happens, I know it's a sign to pay attention. I see so many of my friends struggling with day to day fears like being out of work, or scared about what to do for an interview/audition, for life and school... all these transitions... and I know they're working through their stuff just as I am. But I think of that great quote from Frank Herbert's novel, Dune:

"Fear is the mind killer... I will face my fear... and when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

I believe we can overcome our fears.

One of my friends was talking about how when we're kids we never think to focus on the obstacles. We just think, "I'm going to do that!" No limitations. But as we age, something happens and we become aware of perceived hurdles. If we waste our energy focusing on the hurdle instead of getting over it then we're missing the joy of what's beyond it. Or the joy of leaping over it.

As my friend Tina says, "If there's a wall in your way, just walk around it. It doesn't need to block your view."She recently posted this awesome blog on coming out of the darkness - as a small business owner and as a woman. And I can't help but salute her and thank her for shining her light, for bringing hope to others by sending out a shout of hope for the future.

James Wolcott mentions this in his recent article in Vanity Fair, how people in New York City (considered the cynical capital of the world) are still wearing their Obama buttons, and I still see Obama bumper stickers in store windows. People are hopeful, I believe. We have to look to the light. There will be a dawn.

Bonnie Gillespie wrote about focusing on the positive in her column, The Actors Voice, paying kudos to Malcolm Gladwell's book, Outliers: "We--as a society--can conspire to create greater success for all of us. Sure, there are predictors such as socioeconomic status, IQ level, raw talent, era in which you were born, and geographical advantages. All of those matter too. But perhaps just as important is a person's practical intelligence (or social intelligence), i.e.: charm, wit, even chutzpah. And because those things can be developed and supported by a community that rallies around a person to make success more feasible, we actually have far greater control over whether we succeed or fail in life than we may have always thought (or been taught or been told, based on how or where or when we grew up)."

So keep positive, people. Hang in there. And shine your light!

1 comment:

Tina Sams said...

You know... when I was little, I can remember seeing portraits of JFK on peoples' walls in their homes. I thought it odd, because our family didn't have that sort of thing (no pope, no pres.)
But I have a picture of Obama on my fridge - the most honored locale in the house :-).
He represents hope.