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Apathy, Fear and Responsibility

Last week, in Climbing the Wall, I suggested that “The watchmen are not our enemies. Our challenges are not our foes. They are moving us, to our best life and love, if we but listen, and trust. I need to keep listening, and to climb that wall.”

This week, it occurs to me that one on the watchmen is COVID-19, aka “the corona virus”. Some would have us apathetic. Some would have us fearful. The former would suggest that this is all hype and there is nothing to worry about; it is but mere hysteria. The latter would suggest that this is very scary, and feel a need to panic.

Look, I know that this already is having impact across the planet. I also know that many still remain feeling somewhat “unaffected”. Fear and apathy are both abounding it seems; another testament to our apparent current culture of extremes and division. I suggest that both reactions are less than desirable as responses. The best response is to actually, intentionally and proactively (not reactively) respond; to have the ability to respond. This is the virtue that is Responsibility; that ability to respond.

It requires balance. It requires measured Discernment. It requires being aware and mindful. It requires learning. The World Health Organization has information. So does the World Economic Forum. Knowing can move us beyond panic reactions, and towards true Responsibility.

The Watchmen

Then there is the idea of the watchmen. How does this scenario do us any good at all? First, and individually, I suggest that a potential pandemic reminds us of the importance of taking care of ourselves; healthier is more resistant… as I am reminded on my own journey back to health and strength. Second, this unfolding reality reminds us how we are connected in ways that goes beyond anything “kumbaya”.

Those are two great watchmen.

Bottom Line

We are now being called to practice Responsibility… not a bad thing for going forward. That implies getting the facts. It implies being prepared. The late great Dale Carnegie offered up these thoughts on controlling worry. Among them, he suggested:

  • Get all the facts.
  • After weighing all the facts, come to a decision.
  • Once a decision is reached, act without anxiety about the outcome.

Simple, fundamental advice. This world in which we live is all too often filled with the reactionary. The reactionary comes in the form of escapism and apathy… and in defeatism, paranoia and fear; two powerful but unproductive extremes. The numbness of apathy and the paralysis of fear… both do not serve well .

Our world demands of us emotional courage, and that demands Responsibility. Without it, we become not unlike something blowing in the wind. And, for me, I suggest that we are more than dust in that wind. We are the light and the fire, if we but choose. Our response to the watchmen will always require Responsibility. The kind of working unity needed in the face of this world and its challenges will require same.

Apathy, fear or Responsibility. Wouldn’t you rather?

Peace, passion and prosperity…

Barry

aka The Unity Guy

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Barry Lewis Green moves the needle on character leadership and unity building with joyful ferocity and thoughtful zeal.  Barry helps leaders forge strong, united cultures at school, work, business and community.  Joe Calloway says, “I had the distinct pleasure of being in an audience in Montreal with Barry Lewis Green on the stage. Quite simply, Barry absolutely captivated us with his talent, his message, and his heart.  The feeling of unity that Barry created in the room that day was extraordinary.”  With 39 years in education and leadership training and development … and work in the private, public and community sectors across Canada… and as a speaker, educator, master facilitator, coach, writer, singer, dancer, and cartoonist, Barry stokes the fire on together strong.

Introducing Fear

Last month, we shared on a series around love and self care.  This month, The Benny and Jarry Blog enters October exploring fear.  First, consider:

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”  ― John Lennon

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ― Marianne Williamson

“Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” ― J.K. Rowling

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” ― Jim Morrison

JENNY says…

This whole month I will speak on and to fear … and how we allow it to consume and control us.

Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.  It is to be afraid of someone or something.

Many of us allow fear to control decisions and choices that we make, which in turn may alter the path that our life is meant to take. It can be stressful, create anxiety and overwhelm us and our lives.

When I think of fear, a video from Steve Harvey comes to mind.  He was in between airing his show during commercial break and out of nowhere got the urge to speak to his audience about “jumping”. He speaks about how is it that we really know if we can be successful at something if we don’t take the “jump” and just go for it. It was awe inspiring and motivational. I suggest finding it and watching it; well I have it linked above lol. It resonated with me and to be truthful it helped me “jump”.

In the upcoming broadCAST™ for October, I am going to share more on my own journey with fear.  I look forward to sharing my own thoughts on that journey and lessons learned and learning.  Hope you join me. <3

BARRY says…

I am looking forward to this journey with fear, Jenny.  I have long said and believed (but not always acted upon) the thought that fear is not the question; fear of what is.  Fear is a natural emotion of which we are all capable.  The question is not whether or not we are afraid, but of what we afraid.

I met an ex-Marine who fought in Vietnam.  I met him in 1988.  He shared a story of how we was behind Cambodian lines with his platoon.  Many were dead, many more injured and they were trying to get out of Cambodia through mine-laden rice paddies.  You see, the Americans were not supposed to be in Cambodia. Richard Nixon was apparently proclaiming that there were no troops in Cambodia.  So, there were no troops coming to help.  His platoon had to get themselves out.  They did.  It was harrowing.  I was all of 28 at the time and I remember asking him if he was scared.  He looked at me and smiled, saying essentially, “Of course we were.  Anyone who says they were not scared is either a fool or a liar.”  He then looked me in the eyes and basically said, “Barry, listen to me.  Remember this.  Courage first, confidence second.”

That message I have remembered.  He was saying that courage is in the face of fear; no fear, no courage… and courage is the source of confidence.  We need fear to prove something to ourselves.  We need fear to grow.

If you have time, take 5 minutes to watch Captain Janeway engage fear manifested in AI form.  In the video, there are three thoughts I love.

  • “I’ve learned to trust fear.”
  • “Fear is the most honest of emotions.”
  • “Fear only exists for one purpose… to be conquered.”

Fear has purpose.  And questioning what we fear has purpose.  In my next piece in The broadCAST™, I shall share some more thoughts on my own journey with fear, as friend.

TOGETHER

So, fear is our journey for October.  Together, we continue to be committed to living a joyful life and work.  Best friends do that.  Having a better understanding of fear helps too.  Together, and into October and beyond, we will continue to explore our own perspectives on love and character and how they can build a life of work, play and service that is right for each and all of us.

Join us, stay tuned and engage us.  Our lives matter.

Peace, passion, prosperity, and a whole bunch of Love and Character

Benny and Jarry

Peace, passion and prosperity…

Benny and Jarry

Jenny Dearing speaks to love in action.  She brings talent, experience and learning around love, trauma and care.  With a passion for Child and Youth Care and Addictions, and a background in same, she connects, and memorably so.  Her work spans children and youth care with addictions, personal and senior care, respite work, and business leadership; delivering on all.  Jenny is a Certified Virtues Project™ Facilitator, with professional training in child and youth care with addictions support and home support services.  With certification in ASIST Suicide First Aid, Autism Awareness and Understanding, Trauma Information Care and Child and Youth Care Practice, Jenny brings it, with zeal. On top of all that, she loves singing, and is an accomplished multi-media artist … and brings both to her work.  Artistry is a path to love and healing.  Jenny knows it.  She believes in it.  She drives it.

Barry Lewis Green moves the needle on character leadership and unity building with joyful ferocity and thoughtful zeal.  Barry helps leaders forge strong, united cultures at school, work, business and community.  Joe Calloway says, “I had the distinct pleasure of being in an audience in Montreal with Barry Lewis Green on the stage. Quite simply, Barry absolutely captivated us with his talent, his message, and his heart.  The feeling of unity that Barry created in the room that day was extraordinary.”  With 39 years in education and leadership training and development … and work in the private, public and community sectors across Canada… and as a speaker, educator, master facilitator, coach, writer, singer, dancer, and cartoonist, Barry stokes the fire on together strong.

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