Friday, February 20, 2015


Pic.: Rajiv Sharma

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” American President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, had made this famous statement in 1933 in his first inaugural-address. I have, often, wondered: What has made these words live so long!

I, seriously, believe that it was the timing. The gloom of depression had crippled, almost, every one… Hope was dim, dreams had died… anxiety had made leaders and citizens, all, fear… yes, fear about their future… “What will happen, tomorrow?”

Against such a gloomy backdrop, FDR, who had just been elected to head the greatest democracy in the world, was, now, expected to do away the gloom… inspire the masses with hope, reignite their dreams, fire their imagination… and, that’s what he did in his maiden address after being voted to lead… He reminds his people: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

To me, the timing – ‘depression’ – is symbolic. Gloom comes with depression in our lives… Our financial worries, our relationship conflicts, our moral, spiritual and social crisis. Fear comes with doubt… Anxiety brings worry… Worry brings gloom… Despair and sadness. Hope fades, dreams die… and, cynicism and pessimism come to reign…

The good-news is that depression – no matter how ‘great’ it is – never lasts long. But, hope – may I call it faith – does. Earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes – call them depression or whatever you like… none of them rule life. Nature is trustable more, dependable more… Loving and merciful more than otherwise.

And, because gloom is only momentary – caused only by absence of light… let’s not say, there is no ‘morrow. Yes, the Sun will rise… He will dispel the gloom. Let’s hang on… never giving in to fear… There is nothing to fear but fear itself!

“There is a tide in the affairs of men,” Shakespeare had pointed, “which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat…And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.”

Yes, the tide ‘will’ change… We ‘will’ float’ on a ‘full sea’!


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