Monday, May 26, 2008


Listening to: "Free Yo'Self," Captain Tractor

"We were born to be wild; we were born to be free — come with me."

The first tenet I posted under my blog's title was "Refuse to be afraid." As I started these semi-regular musings, I began to see a pattern so clear that if I were a conspiracy theorist, I would suspect a conspiracy.

But it's as simple as this: In advertising, marketing, politics, sales and many other aspects of human interaction, an effective strategy is to make your target afraid of something and offer them a solution. When it's a fear of zits or greasy hair, the solution of a medicated cream or shampoo is a happy one. When it's a fear of "terrorists" or "communists" or "those people," the solution often involves removing some of your freedom and/or other people's freedom, and that is not a happy outcome.

So I posted "refuse to be afraid." I decided to use this blog to encourage people not to let your fears stand in the way, not to let politicians or others manipulate you into doing or condoning something by making you afraid. As Tom Petty wrote, "Most things I worry about never happen anyway." Or Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain."

The second tenet I added was "Free yourself." My observation was that the thing fear obstructed most often was freedom, or the taking of steps that could lead a person to greater freedom. So "Refuse to be afraid" and "free yourself" seemed to flow together into one thought.

And that leads us to today. It occurred to me that when you wrestle your fears into a manageable shape, you take the first step toward freeing yourself, and one of the biggest results of that process is that your dreams begin to seem possible, and your dreams even begin to come true. A person who been twisted under by fears and slavery for long enough may have forgotten the importance of dreams — so I thought I'd remind folks that they're part of a single process where one step leads to the next: Refuse to be afraid. Free yourself. Dream.

What would you be doing today if you could control your fears and you were free to do it? That's your dream talking.

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