I moved from New York City to Telluride, Colorado in 2000. I had lived in Manhattan for 23 years and it was time for a change. I wanted to move “out west” when I left NYC, but I did not count on moving up to 10,000 feet in Colorado as being a bigger deal than just heading west. Like Butch Cassidy, when he robbed his first bank there, I figured that Telluride’s box canyon made it one of the safest places in America. And I was right.
So I was surprised on 9-11 when a large number of Telluride citizens went into fear about what had happened in New York. I had a hard time understanding that unfounded fear. Looking back, we understand we have been living in fear this entire century, beginning with the Y2K fears that ended the 20th century and began the 21st.
When 3000 people died in the World Trade Center or 3 people in Boston are killed and 200 injured in a terrorist attack, the fear ratchets up again. We feel helpless. Our insistence on being armed to the teeth is strengthened when a lone gunman kills 20 children in Connecticut. Having given up most of our Constitutional Rights in the past ten years in the name of security, we cherish our guns, even though they put us in much more danger than anything terrorists have done.
In this century alone, more than 300,000 American citizens have been killed by gunshot wounds. We react with “so what?”. Fifty years ago, H. Rap Brown reminded us “violence is as American as apple pie”. Other nations seem to live pretty well without massive personal arsenals. Australia comes to mind, as does Canada and Japan. Last year, 87 bullets were fired in Germany and 57 of those were practice rounds, but somehow we have been coaxed into believing that we are at risk without our weapons. It is the one right have left.
Who benefits when we live our lives in fear? Well, the guns lobby for sure. Guns are good business. The real winners of this fearful state of mind are the groups of people who can manipulate us through fear. Fear sells the news and products. They have actually convinced us that we are in more danger from the less than 30 terrorists who have attacked America this century than we are of the 300,000 people who pulled the trigger in the same century. Anyway you shake it; that does not make any sense. We even let our elected representatives vote against the 91% of the people who want gun owners be vetted and licensed.
FEARLESS is more than a decal for the back window of your truck. It is the secret to a good life. There is always a line in the sand in this life and the most important is the line that divides us into groups who live in fear and those who choose to see love. This line also means that you cannot see both love and fear at the same time……you have to take responsibility for which one you are going to see.
Love is Letting Go of Fear is how Gerald Jampolsky, MD titled his book on this line in the sand of our lives. He stated we can let go of fear when we choose to see love instead. Fear can easily be replaced by a faith that says: “I believe in miracles and I know that wherever I am, God is, and wherever God is, all is well”. All this shift requires is that we change our minds.
The whole message of our Christian experience is that death does not count, does not have a sting and is not real. We are eternal. But if you believe the fear that is being brought to you by the American market place is justified, it becomes almost impossible to hear that still small voice that whispers in our ear without ceasing: “Be still and know that I am God”.
The best protection is always to call in God’s protection. He knows all about you and your life and He knows you are safe in his care. And, when you call on this divine protection, you won’t need a decal on your car…..you will be FEARLESS and it will show…..to you and all those around you.