The following was published in the Newsleader on April 5, 2008
Iran is going to have the bomb in one year, five years, or ten years depending on whom you believe. It doesn’t matter because North Korea already has it. We’re all going to die.
Mad cow disease or bird flu is going to ravage the world along with unstoppable bacteria. Strange new diseases will invade our lives for which we have no medication. We’re all going to die.
Yellowstone National Park is nothing more than a giant volcano which is going to blow up and decimate the entire eastern part of the U.S. All vegetation will be covered with miles of ash and rock. We’re all going to die.
The globe is warming at the fastest pace in known history. All the ice at both poles is going to melt and the entire country will be covered with water several fathoms deep. We’re all going to die.
We are running out of oil. The economy of the world is going to come to an end. We’re all going to die.
Are you scared yet?
How about this? Radical fundamentalist will take over Pakistan and have the bomb in their control. Since they all want the Earth to come to an end, we’re all going to die.
Now are you scared?
As I look back over my life, I am amazed with how much of it has been concerned with fear of catastrophic destruction and immediate death. From my earliest memories of safety drills in grammar school in the event of Soviet nuclear attack to polio. And yes, I have been scared.
Now that I am in the autumn of my life, I choose to reconsider those fears. Many years ago I was told that we spend much of our lives building bridges that we will never have to cross. How many such bridges have I built? How much of my life have I spent in fear of some unknown earth shattering event? Who has made it their business to make sure I am afraid? Is it possible that I am much more controllable if I am on edge and insecure? It’s just a thought.
Well I have made a decision. It has been a little late in coming but it has arrived none the less. I am going to borrow from a quote by Chief Joseph, Supreme Leader of the Nez Perce Indians. His quote, on the last day of his war on the white man,”I shall fight no more forever.” My thought is that I will fear no more forever.
Fear is such a wasted emotion. As I think back on all that I was supposed to fear, very little if any has come to pass. If you really think about it, we are all going to die. In fact, life is a terminal condition. Be cautious, be concerned, but don’t fear. One generation of humans is not going to destroy this planet that has survived for millions of years. To even consider it is arrogance beyond belief.
Whether you believe in a Supreme Being or not, I can assure you some force is in charge and will continue to take care of this earth long after humans have disappeared.
As we approach the spring and summer, stop and consider your life. It may seem cliché, but count your blessings. Celebrate the new life that will soon be all around us. Leave fear for those who refuse to love.
Ron Scarbro March 20. 2008
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