THAT FAMOUS QUOTE FROM FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT,
"We have nothing to fear but fear itself," has always been a great reminder for me. Not the notion that fear is something to be afraid of. But the helpful prod to recognize fear as something outside of myself, something that is trying to get me to do what it wants me to do: Lie down. Roll over. Give up.
It's interesting to note that President Roosevelt made this well-known statement at the beginning of his first inaugural address. It was 1933, and citizens of the United States were in the midst of the Great Depression, the worst economic struggle that the country had ever seen. It's also interesting to look at the sentence that statement came from: "So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."
The way I see it, that's exactly what fear is—a sourceless force that would try to push us backward into stagnation and paralysis so that we can't move forward with the kind of thinking that leads to peace, progress, and healing.