By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Only Thing We Have to Fear

Through the Great DepressionImage by B Tal via Flickr
Yes, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. FDR famously said it in the midst of the Great Depression. Economic collapse gets everyone's attention and understandably strikes fear in the hearts of millions. Other forms of collapse--a collapse of honor or of fundamental morality or of families-- such collapses do not get as much widespread attention or anxiety. Money "talks" in life and easily takes center stage.

Is that wise? Not at all. A collapse of honor and integrity is far more catastrophic than financial collapse. There are many individuals who are, outwardly speaking, financially and professionally successful. Their inside story is very different. I know some of them. You probably do too. Success can be a big mask for great personal failure. Some lives have become exhausted projects--morally exhausted and empty of true honor--even if they are outwardly basking in social success. You won't hear that truth in polite and often misleading eulogies.

As we accumulate experience, we learn to be quite skeptical about outward appearances and smiling photographs because we have seen the great contrast between the inner reality and the outward show. It is possible to live as the walking dead. That, really, is the only thing we have to fear.

"What good does it do for people to win the whole world yet lose their lives?"  Mark 8:36