“Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.”
Disclaimer: What you are about to read may not sit well with you, but I encourage you to read it anyway. You never know what you could learn, if you’re willing.
Leadership is about one life influencing another. As 2020 comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on what I have seen society become. Fear has gripped the heart of humanity, and because of this, society has turned on its own. Everything that has occurred in 2020 has created a society hellbent on control through fear, hate, anger, and disrespect. In other words, dignity, kindness, love, and acceptance are no longer staples in society. Why? Because society has bought into the lies that fear has indubitably fed them.
Fear is a menace that leads to a life filled with anger, malice, and depression. Fear is a monster that waits in the shadows and plays on the minds of the weak. Fear is a thought or idea that stifles positive growth and movement. Fear is the master that wants to control everyone and everything. Fear, dear reader, is a LIAR!
I must confess, I miss the days where people were allowed to live their lives without others telling them what to do and how to live it. I miss the days where people could have differing opinions or stand on different political spectrum and still be peaceful toward each other. I miss the days where people didn’t have to share every single thought that came to their mind and knew when to keep their mouth closed. I miss the days when people would be willing to listen more than speak. I miss the days where life was not about controlling the person next to you, but accepting the person for who they are. I miss the days when people were decent.
2020 has been an interesting year to say the least. From it, the ugliness of humanity has shown itself. Everything is offensive, everyone has to be right, and hypocrisy is law. But this can only happen under one condition: Fear. Our society has bought into the lies that they are fed on a daily basis through social media, news, and politics. It took an election, a “scary” virus, and police “brutality” to initiate the self-destruct sequence for society. It has taken the incessant pounding of fear to destroy life.
Fear has established a precedent that has allowed humans to treat other humans poorly. Fear has allowed shaming, name calling, needless arguing and fighting, and the destruction of relationships. When all is said and done, what will be left is a society no longer capable of the simple act of respect, acceptance, and love, because fear has manipulated the heart’s and mind’s of humanity.
With all that said, I want to challenge you with something. I want to challenge you to stop living your life so consumed in the lies and manipulation of fear, and realize life is too fleeting to worry about what will happen tomorrow. Stop stressing over things you can’t control. Live your life in a way that leaves a positive impact on the people around you. Be kind, be respectful, be accepting, and most of all, love. There is nothing in the world more powerful than the simple act of loving others. After all, one of the best books in the world says, “Perfect love casts out all fear.”
Also, it’s okay to be wrong. It’s okay to not know the answers to everything. In fact, there is nothing in this world that says you must have the answers to everything. Educate yourself, and not through news and social media. Take the time to read (multiple sources…yes, even ones you might not agree with), research, and formulate opinions based on fact and not on opinion. Keep an open mind and be willing to learn. Think for yourself and not because someone told you how to think.
Finally, and this one might hurt just a little, everyone dies; how, when, and where is a mystery. Stop trying to avoid the unavoidable and live every moment as if it were your last. Prioritize what really matters in life. Death is inevitable, and we will never escape it. Fearing death just makes it come quicker. Living fearless of death opens the doors for a life filled with joy, happiness, and excitement. Instead of focusing on the potential of death, which we all will die, focus on the legacy you want to leave behind when you say goodbye for the last time.
2020 is almost over. 2021 can be an incredible game changer for you, or it can be just as horrific, chaotic, and fearful as 2020. Personally, 2020 was a year of learning, growing, and prioritizing. 2021 will be a year of growth, learning, goals and accomplishments. Fear is nothing worth believing in. As President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” My hope for you is that you choose to live fearlessly and no longer listen to fear’s lies, and that you choose to live in a way that positively influences those around you.