I finished another journal today. Tomorrow morning I’ll be reaching for another bound book of blank pages waiting to be filled with fragments of thought and bursts of creativity.
I got curious as to how the last journal ended, so I grabbed it off the shelf and remembered that I used the last page and a half to write a new preface for my book Refuse to be Afraid, which I was re-releasing last summer.
Much has changed since I finished that last journal. But I still believe this with all my heart and soul:
As this 2016 edition of Refuse to be Afraid is prepared, the major U.S. political parties have put up the two worst choices of my lifetime. To pick either one is to doom the United States government to four years of scary leadership, their ideas antithetical to the American standard of individual freedom and equality before the law.
The British people have voted to leave the European Union, throwing that continent’s political and economic system into uncertainty. Terrorists are randomly turning streets into shooting galleries in a half-dozen or more nations. Daily news reports spread fear of the Zika virus and climate change.
It seems like a frightening world. It was a bit more frightening in 1776, when instead of submitting to a scary tyrant, the leaders of 13 colonies looked at their choices and picked another path: to go boldly where no colony had gone before – to refuse to be afraid of the tyrant and go their own way, declaring truths to be self-evident and declaring their independence from the insanity. It was a great deal of work, but they overcame their fears and succeeded.
This is the challenge before you: Faced with a scary reality, where all of the choices are frightening and unacceptable, to choose not to fear, to make your own choice, to choose freedom, and to create a better reality by following your dreams.
No matter who is president, no matter what happens a continent away, no matter what scary obstacles are in your path, it is still your life to live, your path to follow. Declare your independence and refuse to be afraid.