Tag Archives: fear

You Can’t Take It With You!……..

How true this statement is, yes?  You can’t take it with you!  I was actually watching the movie by the same name today.  An old movie, to be sure starring Jimmy Stewart, Jean Arthur, Lionel Barrymore and Edward Arnold.  Excellent actors all, I must say.  And for some reason, the title of the movie really hit home for me this day.  You can’t take it with you!  And we cannot, can we?  Now I realize that this phrase most often refers to the idea that one cannot take their money with them when they take leave of this world.  However, it occurred to me that there is so much more than currency and possessions that are not permitted to join us when we die.  What about the time allotted during our lifespan?  What of the days, the hours and even the minutes that make up our lives?  Obviously, when Life ceases for us, so does any remaining time that we thought we had more of.

Friends, let me say that Time is the most precious of all commodities.  It is the only thing that cannot be bought back no matter how well-financed a person may be.  Is this not the truth after all?  You can’t take it with you!  Now if this be true, then why do we squander so precious a gift?  And another thing that has always puzzled me is that so many people while they do not squander it, seem to believe they can hoard time away so as not to waste it.  What I mean to say here is that folks who will not throw it away on raucous living will seemingly not make use of the time given them at all.  Perhaps they are waiting for “the time to be right”.  We have all heard of that person who was just biding their time and when the time came, when all their ducks were in a row, they would strategically make their move into a life that was best suited for them.  How absurd this way of thinking is!  It is said in Scripture that those who live by the credo “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die!” are viewed as foolish in our Creators’ eyes.  This same principle is equally applicable to those who are waiting patiently for those ducks to line up in proper order.  Those who are biding their time are squandering this wonderful gift as much as those who are living a life of no account.  Make no mistake about this, folks.

You can’t take it with you!  Keep this phrase before you daily.  Remember it every time you are engaged in the pursuit of your dreams.  Is it your ambition to enjoy a career in the field of music?  If so, what is keeping you from it other than your own dalliance?  What is that you say?  You have not the funds for proper voice lessons which is why you are biding your time?  Balderdash and poppycock!  If this be so, then join a choir at your local church.  If this be so, have you not heard of karaoke which is offered so often at various establishments round about town?  My friend, think of ways to make effective use of the time given you and do not squander said time by thinking of reasons that you cannot move forward just yet. And this applies to each and everyone, be it a future author or teacher, speaker or business person.  We must stop waiting for time to be right for that time will never come unless we are good stewards of the time allotted us.  And if we are brutally honest with ourselves, we will admit that most often our search for the proper ducks that will fit in the proper row is really due to the fact that we are somewhat fearful of moving into our dream that leads to our Purpose.  This is very true and it is only not only proper but also wise that we admit it to be true.  Fear must be recognized before it can be addressed and must be addressed before it can be conquered, yes?  And permit me one thing further, if you will?  It is alright to be afraid at times and yes, it is particularly alright to be fearful of one’s dreams.  Does this sound a bit odd to you for I know it does to me right now and I am the one putting pen to paper here!  But think about it for a few moments, please.  A dream is in reality a goal and it is always something that requires the act of reaching higher than our present situations and circumstances.  A dream inevitably brings to our lives the probability of change.  Change is something that causes anxiousness and discomfort because it brings with it difficulty most often.  So yes, if we are honest about it, our dreams and indeed the very thing that we desire that we may be fulfilled in our Life brings with it a level of fear.  And as stated previously, become comfortable with the notion that you will be afraid of your aspirations.  I would say to us all that we should go as far as to embrace fully that fear that would keep us from what would be our birthright.  However, do remember that the embracement of this monster is not to welcome it into your home.  To embrace and enfold this fear is being done in order that you may give thanks since it has helped you towards your dream.  You see, once we see fear for what it really is, a short path of smoke and mirrors signifying nothing,  we can then grow and move boldly into the direction of our dreams.  Just make sure to be not afraid of fear, yes?

 

Now, I see that I have certainly strayed from our discussion of the idea that “You can’t take it with you!”  Of course, I suppose I could indicate that if we are to make effective use of that gift of Time so as to set forth towards our goals and dreams, where Fear is concerned, it is safe to say that You can’t take it with you!  However true that is (and it is!), it is still a pretty big stretch, isn’t it?  So, instead I will simply admit to the propensity I seem to have with regards to wandering off point.  So much better to be honest about things, yes?  Though I will say that where this issue of time and our use or misuse of it, the words tonight are in earnest.  Please do set your vision firmly and take steps daily towards your dreams.  Even one or two smaller steps forward are better than remaining stationary for Time is not a friend to us unless we show ourselves to be friendly.  Do not bide your time and do not wait for those ducks for they will never fly in formation.  Instead be sure to treasure those hours and put to good use those moments each and every day so that you will lay hold to the dreams that are your heart.

 

Take care with yourselves. Be good to yourselves and bless all those you meet along the way!  Abundance in Life is my prayer for you and yours.

 

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

 

 

 

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The Color Of Racism Is Fear……

The color of racism is fear.   What better description could ever be offered as a definition for that word racism.  The embodiment of this word has caused more problems in this, our world than any other word ever has or ever will for that matter.  Racism is at the base of all divisiveness and hatred.  It was racism that gave rise to the Holocaust and it was racism that brought forth Apartheid in South Africa.  Racism was at the core in the Bosnian war where genocide was the ultimate goal.  The faces that racism chooses to wear are many, some of which are blatant and others which are not so easily seen with the latter being done by design.  This evil has been with us since time eternal. It can be called racism or it can be referred to as bigotry or prejudice as well.  Racism is the reason that there was ever such a thing as slavery.  The very idea of buying and selling human beings is abhorrent to me.  Each human being carries within it a soul, a radiant spark of the Divine.  No one has the right to buy or sell Divinity.  Is this not the truth?

And I will say that if I chose to do so, I could give to you immeasurable examples and instances of how as well as where and when racism has been permitted to control so much of our world.  I speak of ages past and of our world today.  And that, my friends is most unfortunate.  You see, in today’s world we are supposedly so much more enlightened and vastly more intelligent than those of bygone eras.  So why is it that racism is still so much a strong force that runs rampant across this Earth of ours?  Why do people hate or even dislike another person because of the color of their skin or because their belief system differs from our own?  People, human beings which are born of our Creator are still being terrorized, being victimized and ostracised and even killed simply because of their race, religion or gender preference?  “The evil that men do…”.  We have all heard these words before.  I will tell you that if we were able to trace back each evil deed ever committed, I would wager that it was somehow brought about by some form of racism.  So, I would repeat my query here……If we are so much more intelligent and enlightened, why in God’s name is there such an abundance of prejudice, racism or whatever else you wish to call it in our world??

Well, perhaps the first item I would call to your attention is that there is a huge difference between intellect and wisdom.  So many of folks today have MBA’s, PhD’s and a number of other college degrees behind their name and I applaud them for their tenaciousness in obtaining such an education.  I am not against education and schooling.  It is a part of a strong societal backbone, if you will.  But intellect is not wisdom and it is wisdom we lack, my friends.  Wisdom is knowledge tempered with discernment and cloaked in compassion.  We must allow wisdom back into our hearts and then into our minds.  Therein lies the difference and I believe I am just now able to see this truth.  Wisdom begins in the heart and wisdom once received then involves the mind.  Intellect has always been and always will be relegated to the mind.  So let us first gain wisdom.  This is to be our armour when in combat with the enemy called racism.  Agreed, yes?  We have an accord then.  Good.

Now to truly bring about change, to truly hit racism where it lives, we need to be able to do what?  In any battle (And make no mistake about this.  This is a battle) we must be able to recognize the enemy for we cannot possibly win the war if we are unable to discern who the enemy is.  Which brings me to our original point.  The color of racism is fear.  All racism, all prejudice and bigotry are deeply rooted in a particular soil called fear.  So perhaps we have been attacking this problem of racism the wrong way?  We, often with considerable effort, attempt to uproot the weeds of racism from the garden which is our world.  And many times we do meet with some measure of success.  But still we wonder and are puzzled why these same weeds return again and again to plague our world.  I believe the problem to be not so much the actual weeds of racism as it is the very soil, the soil of fear that feeds and allows those same weeds to return and they often return with more strength than those that came before them.  Does this make sense at all?  If so, then what is truly the answer to this question, this problem we have called racism? 

The answer, as most answers usually are, is simple but it is hard.  It is the soil, the soil of fear that must be addressed here.  This soil of fear is rancid.  It is poison, to be quite honest.  The soil of fear is soil that has not been tended to properly for a very long period of time.  In large part, the soil I speak of is representative of the Heart of our World.  In order to bring the soil back to its original goodness, we must once again give heed to what is allowed into this soil, yes?  And for any garden to grow abundantly and in goodness, the soil therein must be tilled, turned over and aerated so as to permit Life to enter in anew and afresh.  And how do we accomplish this task, you might ask?  We accomplish this through by using the wisdom we discussed a bit earlier.  The formula for racism is not difficult to understand if we think for a moment about it.  The formula is simply this  –  Ignorance of any given situation by any individual brings forth fear.  And fear gives birth to the problem at hand which in this case happens to be racism.  So, if we can bring wisdom and enlightenment into the places where ignorance resides, we can effectively cast out the fear which is indeed the basis of racism.  People are afraid of what they do not understand, whether it be consciously or subconsciously and what we fear we perceive as threatening in some fashion.   The answer then is to gain understanding and in doing so, we obtain wisdom.  And in obtaining wisdom, we learn what tolerance really is.  And my friends, if we can understand the true meaning of tolerance, it is then that this issue of racism will no longer be the issue that has plagued us for so long now.  It is then that we will have truly been brought forward into wisdom.  Wisdom is based in love and understanding, yes?  So, it is in true wisdom that we will know peace in this, our world.  If you would, please give this some thought for I believe it has much merit.

As always, I thank you for taking time from your day to read these thoughts that have been given me, thoughts that I truly enjoy sharing with you.  Be blessed abundantly in your day and please be sure to share the blessing with all those round about you.  Take care with yourselves.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

 

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Why Are We Afraid Of Fear?

Not really such an odd question if you think about.  Why is it that we have such a fear of fear?  We are afraid to be afraid.  Have you ever thought of it in this light?  I myself have not until just now.  We will avoid most anything in order to keep fear from entering our lives.  Of course, the irony is that it is the fear of facing our fear that keeps us from becoming the person were meant to be.  It keeps us from obtaining that new position at our place of work.  It will cause us to shy away from that man or woman that we really would like to meet and get to know better.  People are often afraid of starting an exercise program and why?  They have a fear of not following through and failing.  Essentially, they are not afraid of failing really.  They are afraid of the fear of failing.  And look over there……Do you see that fellow at the desk?  His dream is to write a best-selling novel.  But he does not actively pursue this dream because he has a fear that it will not sell very well.  He is afraid of his fear that the book ,if written will be a flop and he will feel like a failure.

You see, we are not so much afraid of trying, of making the attempt as much as we fear the fear that holds us back.  Now some of you may say that I am splitting hairs here and that I am looking at this far too deeply, that I am really reaching on this subject.  But am I really?  Back in 1933 during the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt made a proclamation. He said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!”  It was a true statement and one that needed to be heard then.  We had become a nation united in fear.  If you’ve read your history, the Depression Era was a very bad time and was only getting worse, this being due in large part to the attitude of fear and dread that held this country tightly in its grasp.  The citizens of this nation no longer had hope.  And in the absence of hope, fear will always step in and take charge.  And back in 1933, fear had a chokehold on this nation.  The good people of this nation were afraid of the fear which had taken their jobs, their homes and their sense of well-being.  They were afraid to face the fear that had left them without hope.  FDR knew this and he also knew the message that our country needed to hear in order to shake off this paralyzing fear and take the steps towards recovery.  And with the delivery of his historical speech, fear began to lose its foothold on our nation.  Hope began to once again become alive in the hearts of those here and the citizenry became less afraid of the fear that had beset them for so long.  If you have never read FDR’s speech that he gave that day, you should.  It is really something.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!”  These words are a dynamic that needs to be embraced in our world today once again.  Fear itself is very much a living entity once we breathe life into its divisive soul and this is brought about because we are afraid to look into the face of Fear.  Rather than squaring our shoulders, planting our feet firmly and holding the gaze of Fear until it turns away defeated, we instead look the other way and give Fear yet another victory.  This needs to change in order for us to grow into the Life we were meant to live.

The concept of Fear is based in uncertainty and uncertainty is always based in either a lack of knowledge or a lack of hope or both.  Allow me to repeat this please.  The concept of Fear is based in uncertainty and uncertainty is always based in either a lack of knowledge or a lack of hope or both.  This is actually a bit of good news for knowledge is obtainable and leads to wisdom and true wisdom provides us with Hope.  And Hope defined is the expectation of good things to come.

I would also like to mention that we dread fear most often because it usually brings with it the possibility of change.  And so many of us will go to great lengths to avoid change, won’t we?  Change is most often not a comfortable process.  However, once we truly realize this fact, once we learn not to be afraid of the fear of change and we instead embrace it fully, we can then see it as a new and exciting opportunity for our lives.  You see, if we use fear to our advantage instead of allowing fear to use us and impede our growth, the new horizons presented before us will be infinite, as God would have it to be.  We must become aware that our Creator places no limitations on us or within us.  The limitations on our lives are self-imposed.  We permit these constraints that bind us by allowing external forces such as fear and uncertainty to control our actions. I might also state that He has not “given us the spirit of fear but rather of peace and a sound mind.”   Does this phrase sound at all familiar to you?  If it does, then good! Apply it to your heart and mind.  If you’ve not heard it before, then memorize it and make use of it in your life for it is one of the great truths of our Universe.

I would end with this thought this evening.  Let us no longer be afraid of fear.  Let us no longer allow fear to pervade and control our respective lives.  When our fear of what fear can do is permitted to reign in our lives, not only do we become weak and cease to grow into who we were meant to become but we also bring dishonor to ourselves as well as to our Source who created us in His own image.  So, let us be not afraid any longer!  Embrace your fear of fear and you will feel its power dwindling while at the same time you will feel the true power of who you really are to grow within your Spirit and in doing so, you will be free to further discover who you really are and will be of a greater blessing to those round’ about you.

I thank you for your attention this evening and hope you have found these sentences worthy of your time.  I have been away for a bit due to personal situations but am in hope that all of that has come to an end.  I enjoy writing and have missed posting items here.  Take care with yourselves and may you be blessed in the same abundance in which you bless those round’ about you each day.  This is also a universal truth for each of us to imprint on our hearts.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr

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Do You Hear What I Hear?

“Do You Hear What I Hear?”  This is one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs.  I have heard it over and over again yet I never grow tired of it.  It’s message is strong and pure.  But sitting here this evening, it occurred to me that I never took the time to check into how it came about.  So, with my curiosity peaked, I did a little investigating.  This song came to be in 1962 and was a combined effort of Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne.  It was written as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Regney was inspired to write the lyrics “Said the night wind to the little lamb, “Do you see what I see?” and “Pray for peace, people everywhere” after watching babies being pushed in strollers on the sidewalks of New York City.  So this is how this beautiful song came to be and what the circumstances were, or what served as the backdrop, if you will.  All of this and more can be found on Wikipedia, if you are curious.  I read this and quite honestly, just sat for a while thinking.  I had always just enjoyed hearing this song, often singing along in the pure rapture of the music and what I perceived its message to be.  And of course, the song is indeed about the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.  But as always, if one looks just a bit further, there is always something more, yes?

In truth, I am sitting here even now and wondering how to proceed with what I intended to write.  I mean, think about this for a moment.  These two people (who were married, by the way) are literally in the midst of what was one of the biggest crisis of that time period.  The threat of nuclear war, one that could take place on our own soil was very, very real.  People everywhere were more than a bit concerned about how this was going to turn out.  I was very young but I was there in 1962.  Too young to realize the magnitude of what was happening but smart enough to know something not very good was going on.  People were fearful and the prospect of panic was not very far away.  This was indeed frightening stuff, my friends.

Obviously however, not everyone reacted with fear.  These two people, the lyricist and the musician, this husband and wife chose to actively do something to try to allay the fears and perhaps change the outcome of this crisis.  Do you think that they just had a Holy boldness in that moment or do you believe that they felt the same fear and trepidation but decided to feel the fear and do it anyway, as the saying goes?  We know the answer to this question, do we not?  They were frightened as badly as anyone else.  Yet they chose to take action and move forward in spite of their fear.  And because they did so, thousands of people back then were comforted and calmed.  It was a message of hope and strength which was so much-needed then.  And that song has sold tens of millions of copies since then and has been performed by hundreds of artists.  Amazing, isn’t it?  The power of words which are given properly at the right time in the proper moment can and will change our world.  Words have done so in the past and will continue to do so today.  And those words my friends, dictate what our future will be.

“Life and death are in the power of the tongue.”  Does this sound at all familiar to any of you out there?  Of course it does.  So, I would share a few items with you this evening, if I may.  First, choose carefully and wisely your words for they are as feathers in the wind.  They are not easily reclaimed once they have left the safe haven of our heart.  And trust me, they are never forgotten no matter how hard we may try to do so.  Just remember that as humans, we are all fallible.  We all become angry at some point or offended or hurt…..You can fill in the blank here yourself.  The bottom line is when the unfavorable attacks us, we want to react and defend ourselves in some fashion for we feel we have been wronged!  And we react with our what?  Our words and those words can often hurt every bit as much as attacking someone physically.  Actually, wounds caused by a verbal attack do far more damage than almost any physical hurt can cause.  So I ask of you, please think and rethink before you react.  Is there not enough pain in our world to satisfy us yet?

The second thing I would like to speak with you about is….Well, let me just say this.  Do you hear what I hear?  When a statement is made and when words are spoken, do you hear what I hear?  Yes, you do indeed hear what I hear.  Or better said, you hear the same words that I hear.  But your perception of those same words, what you glean from their meaning is almost always different what I or anyone else derives from those words.  I might also add that the emphasis we place on any particular word in a sentence changes the meaning of that statement.  As an example, please be kind and read this sentence  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  Okay, easy enough, right?  Now read it once again with emphasis on the word in bold print  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  Now again  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  Now indulge me a few more times please  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  And then try this  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  Or how about  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  Do you see how your perception of the statement changed based on what word has the most emphasis put on it?  As I say, we all hear the same words but in truth we do not because of how our mind perceives those words. This is why we should become well-practiced in the management of that potentially vicious little fellow who resides in our mouth, our tongue.  How is it said?  “Out of the same mouth comes forth blessing and cursing.  My brethren, these things ought not be.”  Realize the truth of these words, friends and neighbors.  If what comes out of our mouths is a flow of inconsistency, then how do you think this affects those around us and how then does it ultimately affect this, our world that was given us to care for and manage???  Is it any wonder then that this world of ours is in conflict and confusion? You see, the words we use are to be consistently peaceable and kind and therefore easily entreated by the spirits of those round’ about us.  This is how healing will come upon the Earth.

There are other factors, of course.  Nothing is perfect in an imperfect world.  But it is what we can strive for, what we can become.  And if you wish to place blame for the conditions on our planet somewhere else?  Say, on the shoulders of our leaders perhaps?  Okay, I will give that one to you for that is fair enough.  To those whom we place our faith and confidence in to responsibly make decisions for the welfare of our country and world, we expect more.  To properly serve its citizenry, those who have been given the mantle of leadership are expected to be servants of said citizenry.  But I would ask you this question as well  –  If it becomes a situation where the leaders are no longer acting as the public servants for which they were elected but rather have become servants unto themselves, what then?  The answer there is a simple one but not an easy one.  If they will no longer fulfill properly the position they were entrusted with, then they should be asked to leave that position.  And it is the citizens who elected them, you and I who must hold them accountable for their office.  So you see, we are the ones who are to blame for a lack of leadership in our respective countries and nations.  Because we are the ones who either allow or disallow things to continue as they are, be it good or bad.  It is our job, our responsibility to speak clearly and say our leaders, “Do you hear what we hear?”  So, the good news is that in order to effectively change our world is that it is all up to us.  And the bad news is that in order to effectively change our world it is all up to us.  It’s kind of funny if you think about it.  But it is the truth of it, to be sure.

In closing, I would say that our nation and our world is in turmoil.  That is an irrefutable fact.  There is violence and discord in so many areas of the world.  A good many of us, the majority of us actually,  feel anxious and fearful much of the time.  A sense of foreboding is quite prevalent nowadays.  We seem to be a nation which has lost its way in a world which seems to be spinning out of control.  What are we to do and in which direction do we turn in the midst of our fear?  I believe we know the answer and we know where to begin already.  You see, back in 1962, there was a lyricist and a musician who were living in a fearful time. I believe we spoke of them earlier this evening, yes?  And in response to their fear, did they withdraw and run away, hoping desperately that someone would step up and do something?  No, they did not as you already know.  Instead they took a stand and used the gifts and abilities they were born with and wrote a song that affected the masses then and still blesses millions today.  “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Well my friend, do you hear it?  The winds of change are blowing now.  And please do remember that our words carry much power, power that can and will bring about a different outcome than what has been set forth.  Will you now step up with me and greet those winds head on with a grand expectation and the confident hope for a better tomorrow?  And be not afraid for fear is indeed the real enemy of our spirit.  Come, let us bring about change in our world for it is our world after all.  What do you say?  Do you hear what I hear?

I do apologize if I have kept you longer than usual.  As I have mentioned, most often when I write something I don’t know where it is going.  I simply follow what flows through my fingertips.  I truly hope this has been worthy of your time this evening.  I speak of our being able to effect change because I am led to do so.  And I believe I am led to do so because we can, through a collective effort bring our world back into balance, if you will.  But to do so, we must become accountable to ourselves and more importantly, we must become accountable as well to all those who share this Earth with us.  I pray for blessing and goodness upon us all.  If you find these words worthy, please pass them along.  I thank you for your attention.  Take care with yourselves.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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