Fear Is A Prison Of Our Own Making

I can’t help but notice how some have seized on the anniversary of the events of 9/11/2001 to further their own agendas, stir up anger and fear, and — to my dismay — even to sell products.

Look, I’m a marketer. I believe in entrepreneurship. But I think it’s far beneath any of us to fan the flames of fear for personal gain.

No matter how bad the events that happen around us may be, and no matter how out of control we may feel, we have been endowed with an ability no mere animal has: the ability to control our response to those external circumstances.

We can choose whether we will dwell in anger, in love… or in fear.

If we purposely live in fear or anger – or if we encourage others to do so – don’t we empower the very evil we say we oppose?

Fear is a prison that locks us into patterns of smallness.

As an American, I too feel the sadness of the loss we all suffered on this day nine years ago. But I will not be defined by another’s act of evil.

And I will not be driven to hate other men because of it — especially not in the name of God. The God I follow, when beaten and bloodied and killed by the very ones he came to save, said the following: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

I want to follow that example.

What if we turned this day into a day to show love to our brothers and sisters, instead of sowing seeds of fear and anger? What if we decided to reap a harvest of forgiveness and reconciliation, instead of a harvest of bitterness?

I’m not saying it would be easy. Maybe, for mere men, it’s even impossible.

But what if we tried?

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at RayEdwards.com.

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  • “Maybe, for mere men, it's even impossible” – maybe. But with God nothing is impossible. And I'm willing to try to show love instead fear, anger & hate.

    I'm with you on this one Ray.


  • David

    Love you stuff, every day. Thank You!
    Here's a different take on this. Like you say, many people are trying to create fear from the actions of others but what has happened in America over the course of the last 100 years is that Christians have constantly “turned the other cheek.” By doing that, the society has tried to relegate our beliefs into the trash heap of history.
    Maybe it's just an awareness that needs to be seen. That there are people who hate our way of life and do want to kill us. Not fear, awareness. Not fear, but preparedness. Not fear, but steadfastness in understanding that the world is a dangerous place and if we go along to get along, we will be swept into the trash heap of history. Not just Christians, but America.

    David Hepburn Jr

  • Marcie

    Oh my! Someone who dares speak with common sense! Bravo! If everyone followed your suggestion, the world would be a much better world to live in.

  • Diane

    Well said, Ray!

    Fear does beget fear–and worse. Fear is of the dark. Let us remember: The Light came into the world, and the light shines (always, constantly) in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.

    I'm not sure we can do what you say without that Light. Fortunately, we're not the Light. We only have to put ourselves in a position to reflect it.

  • Writehur

    You nailed it!

  • writehur

    Nailed it,,,, solid, measured and sane!!!

  • Jack Marshall

    Your view is like a breath of fresh air – As a Scot I was dismayed that so many others could not indentify with the magnitude of the compassion in our legal system that allowed Kenny MacAskill to sanction the release of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi who was (questionably) convicted as the Lockerbie Bomber.

    In one simple act I think Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish Justice Seretary displayed much that is contained in Christian principals and I think very much in line with your views expressed above.

  • This is an awesome article. I know it's business related, but I sent it to my whole family anyway.

    Also, I need to add one thing – Matthew 19:26 – With God, all things are possible.