We currently live in a world that is plagued by fear. Current events both nationally and internationally have us watching and reading about brutally violent occurrences, and the anti-Semitism that has infiltrated both college campuses and the populace at large have many Jews afraid to display their religion openly. Though caution and pragmatism is certainly recommended, abject fear will only stymie a person from enjoying life the way that they should and achieving all they are meant to.
There was once a story told about an 84-year-old man who goes sky diving for fun. Even at his age, he takes risks, exposes himself to adventure, and revels in the free fall of the open air. Certainly, he wasn’t born this way, with the proclivity for such boldness. Surely, he worked himself up to becoming a man with that capability and confidence. In the same way, we need to stretch ourselves to accomplish our dreams and desires.
Fear can truly limit a person. I know of another woman who suffered from agoraphobia; she was afraid to leave her home, despite having developed a successful sandwich business from the confines of her kitchen. One day, though, when the opportunity presented to her was just too exciting to turn down, she took a job as a part-time chef – and that led to the establishment of her own catering business and restaurant. The gifts inside of her were what planted the seeds for her success and her bravery is what enabled her to be more prolific than she had ever thought possible.
Another example of faith overcoming limitation is portrayed in the new Broadway show, How to Dance in Ohio, based on the Peabody Award-winning HBO documentary of the same name. It’s a heartfelt new musical that explores the universal need to connect and the courage it takes to step out into the world. The action unfolds at a group counseling center in Columbus, Ohio, where seven autistic young adults prepare for a spring formal dance — a rite of passage that breaks open their routines and gives way to hilarious and heartwarming encounters.
We need to think of fear as nothing more than an illusion – just as Dorothy discovered that the great and terrible Wizard of Oz was nothing more than an old man blowing smoke and mirrors. Though fear may seem to completely overtake us on occasion, there is no reason to kow-tow to it. Instead, we need to recognize our trepidation for what it is and look inside ourselves in order to combat it. Each one of us possesses inner strength – an inner resolve that can aid us in achieving greatness. So think about what you desire and then go after it. Because when that desire is ignited and then pursued there’s no telling what can be accomplished. Keep your faith, keep your trust and keep your belief in yourself, as you break through your hesitations and embrace all of the possibility that awaits.