Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Choose Hope over Fear

On inauguration day, “we gather because we have chosen hope over fear...” This choice between hope and fear requires us to power up our new brain and to override our ancient instincts. Hope is intentional; fear is automatic. Choosing hope is hard work that never lets up. Fear just happens, it runs amok, and we need to corral it.

Fear fuels our lives, yet strangely it keeps us right where we were, sometimes running in small circles. Fear can be used better. The days of our lives will never be without fear. We must learn to manage it.

Now, hope, as our science has demonstrated and folks have started to believe, can be chosen and converted into a fuel for change. Some might say that this energy is not as powerful and reliable. They are dead wrong. Hope is potent, plentiful, and faithful. We need to learn to master hope once we make it our default.

We choose hope and nudge the hell out of it to create better lives for ourselves and others. We must learn to make fear work for us, to keep us safe, but not too safe. In time, we will realize that hope and fear can work together and modern humans have been, and always will be, hope-fear hybrids.

Master hope. Manage fear. Go hybrid.


  1. I'm not sure that I agree with the statement that hope is intentional and fear is automatic. I never thought about it. It seems logical that fear would be automatic, but hope seems to big to be controlled by intentions.

    I can be persuaded. Just wondering and keep the posts coming, great stuff.

  2. Adam,

    Hope can bubble up...without direct intention. Think about the last time you saw a child in your school reach a big goal or you heard a good speech or sermon. But that hope, though it does open the mind, is a bit hapless. It is only when direct those feelings of inspiration and link them with thoughts about the future do we have a potent brand of hope.