When Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously declared in 1933 that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” he was speaking to a public that had every reason to be afraid. The Great Depression had paralyzed the country, sending once self-sufficient families to the streets with no resources and no hope. But he knew that the country could hold itself in a standstill with its own fear, and that recovery was dependent on courageous action. In that same speech, he urged the American people to recover the “spirit of the pioneer.” “It is the way to recovery. It is the immediate way. It is the strongest assurance that the recovery will endure,” he said. In other words, courage was the best way to try to avoid the very things they feared. In their case, the fear was continued joblessness, family hardship, etc.
As a parent who has to watch my children make their own mistakes, it’s not that I don’t have a reason to be afraid. It’s that the way I respond when I’m afraid carries the highest likelihood that what I fear will actually come about.
[Read the full article at Practicing Familes]