Friday, December 30, 2016


 “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  When Franklin D. Roosevelt made this famous remark in his inaugural address (1933), the times were really tough and the future looked really dark… The war, depression, unemployment, and uncertainly loomed so large that there was that dire need of a strong leader to inspire hope in the despaired hearts. So, FDR rose to the occasion and inspired the American people by calling upon them not to fear, not to panic over their future… “The only thing we have to fear,” he reminded them, “is fear itself.”

Ever since then – that is, for some eight decades – men and women have found solace in FDR’s clarion call… In life, there is nothing we should be frightened of… but the fear itself… For, as Mary Ferguson said, “Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom!”

Fear is a great energy drainer. It can paralyze us… rob us of our zest for life.

As New Year is about to roll in tomorrow night, I have suddenly become conscious of the way I have been dealing with my own fears… the uncertainties and future I worry over. I ask: should I greet the New Year with hope or with despair? Should I embrace it with my open arms or should I approach it with my crossed fists?

I have lived fifty-eight New Years and I have survived greatly. Life is mightier than any fear my heart can ever harbor… And, in life, every fear dissolves… It dies out when ‘wisdom’ comes! ”Feed your faith,” remind the   wise-words, “and your fears will starve to death.”

War, depression, unemployment, drought, heartbreak… whatever that man was afraid of… yes, none of them has outlived Life… Life has outlived them all!

Therefore, let me infuse myself with with FDR’s wise words: “The only thing we should fear is fear itself.”


Pic.:  Chetna Shetty

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