Fear

Why so angry?

October 23, 2019

A Course in Miracles

T-30.VI.1. Anger is never justified. 2 Attack has no foundation. 3 It is here escape from fear begins, and will be made complete. 4 Here is the real world given in exchange for dreams of terror. 5 For it is on this forgiveness rests, and is but natural. 6 You are not asked to offer pardon where attack is due, and would be justified. 7 For that would mean that you forgive a sin by overlooking what is really there. 8 This is not pardon. 9 For it would assume that, by responding in a way which is not justified, your pardon will become the answer to attack that has been made. 10 And thus is pardon inappropriate, by being granted where it is not due.

“Anger continued on past its usefulness becomes unjust, then dangerous… It fuels not positive activism but regression… self-righteousness. Corrosive, it feeds off itself, destroying its host in the process.” -Ursula K. Le Guin

Maria Popova:

Le Guin begins with a case study in the cultural history of anger as a tool of social change — epoch-making change she lived through and helped engender:

In the consciousness-raising days of the second wave of feminism, we made a big deal out of anger, the anger of women. We praised it and cultivated it as a virtue. We learned to boast of being angry, to swagger our rage, to play the Fury.

We were right to do so. We were telling women who believed they should patiently endure insults, injuries, and abuse that they had every reason to be angry. We were rousing people to feel and see injustice, the methodical mistreatment to which women were subjected, the almost universal disrespect of the human rights of women, and to resent and refuse it for themselves and for others. Indignation, forcibly expressed, is an appropriate response to injustice. Indignation draws strength from outrage, and outrage draws strength from rage. There is a time for anger, and that was such a time.

Anger is a useful, perhaps indispensable tool in motivating resistance to injustice. But I think it is a weapon — a tool useful only in combat and self-defense.

Le Guin considers how the uses of anger can metastasize into misuses when its aims are left uncalibrated under the ferment of time:

Anger points powerfully to the denial of rights, but the exercise of rights can’t live and thrive on anger. It lives and thrives on the dogged pursuit of justice.

[…]

Anger continued on past its usefulness becomes unjust, then dangerous. Nursed for its own sake, valued as an end in itself, it loses its goal. It fuels not positive activism but regression, obsession, vengeance, self-righteousness. Corrosive, it feeds off itself, destroying its host in the process.

A century and a half after Walt Whitman admonished that “America, if eligible at all to downfall and ruin, is eligible within herself, not without,” Le Guin adds:

The racism, misogyny, and counter-rationality of the reactionary right in American politics for the last several years is a frightening exhibition of the destructive force of anger deliberately nourished by hate, encouraged to rule thought, invited to control behavior. I hope our republic survives this orgy of self-indulgent rage.

https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/12/05/ursula-k-le-guin-no-time-to-spare-anger/

 

Champions of Democracy

October 7, 2019

Modeled after FDR’s historic 1941 speech to Congress, laureates receive honors in the following categories: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear, and the freedom medal.

“Today’s political moment calls for a regrounding in Rooseveltian values, which each of this year’s laureates embodies. As FDR told our nation almost 80 years ago, we must never give up our fight for democracy.”

Roosevelt Institute Presents 2019 Four Freedoms Awards to Champions of Democracy

Oct. 5th

Ceremony highlights the importance of democratic values in a challenging political landscape

‘Today, the Roosevelt Institute celebrated the Four Freedoms Awards, honoring Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s legacies and those who exemplify core freedoms that uphold our democracy. The Four Freedoms Awards are presented in alternating years by the Roosevelt Institute in the US and Roosevelt Stichting in the Netherlands, FDR’s ancestral home. For the first time since 2011, the New York event has returned to Hyde Park and was attended by 265 people, including Han Polman, King’s Commissioner in the Province of Zeeland & Chair of the Roosevelt Foundation and a delegation of over 30 from the Netherlands.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Freedom Medal: Lonnie Bunch for his significant contributions to American culture and society as a historian and storyteller. Bunch is the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and is currently secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. He is the first African American to hold this position.
  • Freedom of Speech and Expression: The Boston Globe for its call to news organizations to publish editorials in support of a free press and their critical role in democracy.
  • Freedom of Worship: Krista Tippett for her honest pursuit of ancient and enduring human questions about our spiritual traditions.
  • Freedom from Want: Franklin Thomas for dedicating his life to public service, community development, and philanthropy. Thomas was the first African American president of the Ford Foundation, where he focused on issues relating to urban poverty, human rights, and anti-apartheid initiatives.
  • Freedom from Fear: Sandy Hook Promise for recognizing the need to build community and engage in powerful advocacy around gun violence following an unthinkable tragedy.

“The Four Freedoms Awards represent a continuing dedication to the values my grandparents, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, so embodied—beliefs around human freedoms and security, shared well-being, and the importance and strength of the democratic process,” said Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, Board Chair of the Roosevelt Institute. “I am so pleased that this event has returned home to Hyde Park. It’s not only the birthplace and home of my grandfather, but it’s especially important as the site of his Presidential Library and Museum.”

“The Four Freedoms and those who champion them are more important now than ever,” said Felicia Wong, President and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute.“Today’s political moment calls for a regrounding in Rooseveltian values, which each of this year’s laureates embodies. As FDR told our nation almost 80 years ago, we must never give up our fight for democracy.”

Past recipients of the Four Freedoms Awards include Presidents Truman, Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton; international luminaries, such as Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama; and treasured Americans, including Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, journalist Dan Rather, civil rights leader Coretta Scott King, and Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson. You can learn more about the Four Freedoms Awards here.


About the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum is America’s first presidential library—and the only one used by a sitting president. Conceived and built under President Roosevelt’s direction and opened to the public in 1941, the Library is administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. Members and donors form a vital base of support for many of the Library’s key initiatives and help keep our doors open to visitors and students from around the world.

About the Roosevelt Institute

Until economic and social rules work for all Americans, they’re not working. Inspired by the legacy of Franklin and Eleanor, the Roosevelt Institute reimagines the rules to create a nation where everyone enjoys a fair share of our collective prosperity. We are a 21st-century think tank, bringing together multiple generations of thinkers and leaders to help drive key economic and social debates and have local and national impact. The Roosevelt Institute is also the nonprofit partner to the FDR Presidential Library and Museum.

To keep up to date with the Roosevelt Institute, please visit us on Twitter or follow our work at #RewriteTheRules.

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Be brave.

May 18, 2018

2018.

April 24, 2018

Here we are.

Life-In-The-Tank Lens

January 9, 2018

Mark Nepo

“It was a curious thing. Robert had filled the bathtub and put the fish in the tub so he could clean their tank. After he’d scrubbed the film from the small walls of their make-believe deep, he went to retrieve them.

He was astonished to find that, though they had the entire tub to swim in, they were huddled in a small area the size of their tank. There was nothing to contain them, nothing holding them back. Why wouldn’t they dart about freely? What had life in the talk done to their natural ability to swim?

It makes me wonder now, in middle age, if being spontaneous and kind and curious are all parts of our natural ability to swim. Each time I hesitate to do the unplanned or unexpected, or hesitate to reach and help another, or hesitate to inquire into something I know nothing about; each time I ignore the impulse to run in the rain or to call you up just to say I love you–I wonder, am I turning on myself, swimming safely in the middle of the tub?”

 

‘Moral treason.’

November 16, 2017

How Trump and the Republican Party will go down in history

by /Sasha Abramsky

Flash Drives

November 29, 2016

lonely-man

Seth Godin

Fear, loneliness, anger, shame & hunger.

They drive us. They divide us. They take us away from our work, our mission, our ability to make a difference. And yet, sometimes, they fuel our motion, leading to growth and connection.

When a variety of FLASH shows up, it almost never calls itself by name. Instead, it lashes out. It criticizes what we’ve made or done. And mostly, it hides behind words, argument and actions, instead of revealing itself.

As you’ve guessed, correcting the false argument is futile. Logic doesn’t work either. You can’t reason with FLASH because it is, by definition, unreasonable.

Worth repeating that: We’re rarely reasonable. Most of the time, we’re afraid, lonely, angry, shameful or hungry.

Sometimes, we can address those emotions by seeing that reason can help our problem, but mostly, we start and end with the emotion.

Recognize it.

Pause to allow it be seen and heard.

And then, if we’re willing, we can dance with it. We can put the arguments aside, the demands and the expectations and sit with the emotion. Not get defensive, because the emotion isn’t about us or our work at all.

Then, maybe, we can begin to bring civilization back into the conversation, the story of us, the opportunity for growth and connection, and ultimately, the power of thought and reason and forward motion.

Existential violence.

October 12, 2016

cnn-fox-news-msnbc

Cable news – – platforms for a language of hate and fear. “Every time we hook ourselves up to a device that shocks us into a fear-based posture on a regular basis, we’re making a choice about the world and how we experience it.”


 

“What if the fear and malaise and anger isn’t merely being reported by cable news…

What if it’s being caused by cable news?

What if ubiquitous video accompanied by frightening and freaked out talking heads is actually, finally, changing our culture?

Which came first, the news or the news cycle?

We seem to accept the hegemony of bottom-feeding media as some natural outgrowth of the world we live in. In fact, it’s more likely an artifact of the post-spectrum cable news complex in which bleeding and leading became business goals.

There’s always front page news because there’s always a front page.

The world is safer (per capita) than ever before in recorded history. And people are more frightened. The rise of the media matches the rise of our fear.

Cable news isn’t shy about stating their goals. The real question is: what’s our goal? Every time we hook ourselves up to a device that shocks us into a fear-based posture on a regular basis, we’re making a choice about the world and how we experience it.

They want urgency more than importance. What do we want?

[I wrote this months ago, and every time I’m about to post it, I hesitate because recent events make it look like I’m writing it for that reason. Finally, I realized that it’s never a quiet moment in the media cycle any more, is it?]

-Seth Godin
 

Release fear.

May 16, 2016

CildR0zU4AEep3D.jpg-large

Freedom.

May 1, 2016

web-we-want-banner

Apocalypse soon.

April 15, 2016

Unknown

Seth Godin

It’s a bug in our operating system, and one that’s amplified by the media.

I’m listening to a speech from ten years ago, twenty years ago, forty years ago… “During these tough times… these tenuous times… these uncertain times…” And we hear about the urgency of the day, the bomb shelters, the preppers with their water tanks, the hand wringing about the next threat to civilization.

At the same time that we live in the safest world that mankind has ever experienced. Fewer deaths per capita from all the things that we worry about.

Risky? Sure it is. Every moment for the last million years has been risky. The risk has moved from Og with a rock to the chronic degeneration of our climate, but it’s clear that rehearsing and fretting and worrying about the issue of the day hasn’t done a thing to actually make it go away. Instead, we amplify the fear, market the fear and spread the fear as a form of solace, of hiding from taking action, of sharing our fear in a vain attempt to ameliorate it.

When we get nostalgic for past eras, for their culture or economy or resources, it’s interesting that we never seem to get nostalgic for their fears.

‘The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but it is fear.’ -Gandhi

 

“Inside Out”

June 11, 2015

sadness-fear--anger--disgust--joy-2015-disneypixar_wide-64277b4e098a4a8f258be33ead42fcf1b0c75831-s800-c85

NPR’s Fresh Air

{Joy is voiced by Amy Poehler, Anger by Louis Black, Fear by Bill Hader, Disgust by Mindy Kaling and Sadness by Phyllis Smith.}

“The filmmakers did extensive consultations with researchers and psychologists to get the “science” of their animated emotions just right.”

This is going to be a sweet little movie – – Inside Out… from Pixar and filmmaker Pete Doctor who brought us “Up” and Monster’s, Inc…beautiful anecdote about a little boy who saw an advance of the screening and how he named his fear:
~
“There’s one story that’s pretty amazing. A guy who we work with – and we had screened the film for our friends and family along the way just to make sure it was working and it wasn’t too complex, you know, especially for younger kids. Luckily, they not only got it, but this guy came back the next day and he said, I got to tell you this story. My son has been taking swimming lessons. And he’s been afraid to dive off the diving board. It’s just too high, and he’s scared, so he hasn’t been able to do it. Yesterday, after seeing the film, we went to lessons, and he dove off the diving board. And everybody said, yeah, that’s great. How did you do it? And he said, well, I just felt like fear had been driving, and I asked him to step aside. And for us, we were sort of blown away. Not only did he get the film, but it was actually making an impact in his life.” Just step aside..

http://www.npr.org/2015/06/10/413273007/its-all-in-your-head-director-pete-docter-gets-emotional-in-inside-out

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