What is the Only Thing We Have to Fear?

By Nathan Hritz

Spiders, clowns, heights and your midterm grade. What do these things have in common? Fears. They are all things that people have feared in the past and possibly even fear now.

Some are rational, most completely irrational, but fear is fear regardless of what it is. I’m a firm believer that it is always good to be on your toes, but I have never bought much into the idea of fear.

Granted, it is a very real feeling and something that is good to feel from time to time. I cannot say that I am particularly afraid of anything. I believe that Franklin Delano Roosevelt said it best in saying, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!” Hallowed words from a hallowed man that I think we should all take to heart.

In my opinion, being afraid of something is nothing more than granting power to something/someone when instead, you could be giving that power to yourself. These days, empowerment seems to be something of a trend, so why not give it a shot?

Instead of fearing your demons, pick a fight with them. Become your demons’ demon. I have a lot of respect for anybody who shows a strong will, and to me that means somebody who is standing their ground.

The best thing anybody can do to conquer their fear is to face whatever frightens them head on. If you are afraid of spiders, hold one. If you are afraid of heights, climb a ladder. You get the point.

There are certain things that we just have to accept and live with, though. Those are the fears I would consider rational. For instance, the future is something that I personally think about and maybe even worry about a little.

Things of that nature can only be faced head on and taken day by day. I find myself thinking a lot about how the decisions I make today can affect tomorrow for the better or for the worse. Each day brings forth new obstacles that have to be faced in the moment, making it difficult to confront the worries that they bring.

Some people are worriers by nature, some by experience. At some point we all worry, but don’t give worries the courtesy of being a fear. Worry is manageable, fear is unnecessary. As FDR said, “All we have to fear is fear itself!” There is also an old Latin saying that I like to live by, “carpe diem,” which translates to “seize the day.”

I could be perceiving that entirely incorrectly, but I take it as we should take each day as it comes and to make the most of any situation.