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Antidotes of Fear Tags: antidotes fear martin luther king jr. word life production news

 

Our problem is not to be rid of fear but rather to harness and master it.  How may it be mastered?  First, we must unflinchingly face our fears and honestly ask ourselves why we are afraid.  This confrontation will, to some measure, grant us power.  We shall never be cured of fear by escapism or repression, for the more we attempt to ignore and repress our fears, the more we multiply our inner conflicts…

And let us also remember that, more often than not, fear involves the misuse of imagination.  When we get our fears into the open, we may laugh at some of them, and this is good.  One psychiatrist said, “Ridicule is the master cure for fear and anxiety.”

Second, we can master fear through one of the supreme virtues known to man: courage.  Plato considered courage to be an element of the soul which bridges the cleavage between reason and desire.  Aristotle thought of courage as the affirmation of man’s essential nature.  Thomas Aquinas said that courage is the strength of mind capable of conquering whatever threatens the attainment of the highest good. 

Courage, the determination not to be overwhelmed by any object, however frightful, enables us to stand up to any fear…

Third, fear is not mastered through love.  The New Testament affirms, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love cast out fear.”  The kind of love which led Christ to a cross and kept Paul unembittered amid the angry torrents of persecution is not soft, anemic, and sentimental.  Such love confronts evil without flinching and shows in our popular Parlance an infinite capacity “to take it.”  Such love overcomes the world even from a rough-hewn cross against the skyline…

Hatred and bitterness can never cure the disease of fear; only love can do that.  Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it.  Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it.  Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.

Fourth, fear is mastered through faith.  A common source of fear is awareness of deficient resources and of consequent inadequacy for life.  All too many people attempt to face the tensions of life with inadequate spiritual resources.

A positive religious faith does not offer an illusion that we shall be exempt from pain and suffering, nor does it imbue us with the idea that life is drama of unalloyed comfort and untroubled ease.  Rather, it instills us with the inner equilibrium needed to face strains, burdens, and fears that inevitably come, and assures us that the universe is trustworthy and that God is concerned…

Beneath and above the shifting sands of time, the uncertainties that darken our days, and the vicissitudes that cloud our nights is a wise and loving God.  This Universe is not a tragic expression of meaningless chaos but a marvelous display of orderly cosmos….Any man who finds this cosmic sustenance can walk the highways of life without the fatigue of pessimism and the weight of morbid fears.  Herein lies the answer to the neurotic fear of death that plagues so many of our lives…

This faith transforms the whirlwind of despair into a warm and reviving breeze of hope.  The words of a motto which a generation ago was commonly found on the wall in the homes of devout persons need to be etched on our hearts:

                                    Fear knocked at the door.

                                     Faith answered.

                                    There was no one there.

                                                                       

Martin Luther King, Jr., “The Strength to Love”

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