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Word Gems 

exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity






“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” Plato


Editor's 1-Minute Essay: Fear




Father Robert Benson: "Now transitions have been taking place since the world began thousands of centuries ago, but mankind in general is content to remain in ignorance of what is to happen to him when he leaves the earth for the spirit world. He either asserts that it is impossible to know, or else he prefers to abide in his ignorance. And yet if he had but the knowledge of even the simple facts such as I have detailed to you, what a wealth of difference it would make to his mind. It would drive out that dreadful fear of the unknown ’hereafter’ which can be, and is, such a crushing nightmare to sensitive minds."

Eric Hoffer: "Fear comes from uncertainty. When we are absolutely certain, whether of our worth or worthlessness, we are almost impervious to fear. Thus a feeling of utter unworthiness can be a source of courage."


to face unafraid, the plans that we made...



Winter Wonderland

"...to face unafraid, the plans that we made"



Elenchus. Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics does such a good job with her version of “Winter Wonderland.”

Kairissi. There’s something really magical about that song.

E. It’s more than a Christmas carol, more than an ode to the beauties of nature. I’ve listened to “Winter Wonderland” so many times, but I’m still emotionally jarred every time I hear the words, “to face unafraid the plans that we made.”

K. It was never meant to be a Christmas song – there’s no reference to the holidays in it. The songwriter had other things on his mind. There’s a sad story behind “Winter Wonderland.” I was reading about it.

E. What happened?





Eleanor Roosevelt: “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by each experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Dale Carnegie: “You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn't exist anywhere except in the mind.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Napoleon Bonaparte: “He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.”

Plato: “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

Dale Carnegie: “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

Seneca: “We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.”

H.P. Lovecraft: "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear."

Coleridge: "In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly."

Frank Herbert: "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

Publilius Syrus: "What we fear comes to pass more speedily than what we hope."

Edgar Watson Howe: "A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice."

Lt. John B. Putnam Jr.: “Courage is not the lack of fear but the ability to face it."

Anais Nin: “People living deeply have no fear of death.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson: “When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.”

Bertrand Russell: “Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.”

Karl Augustus Menninger: “Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.”

Isa Upanishad: “Who sees all beings in his own self, and his own self in all beings, loses all fear.”

Helen Keller: “Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.”

Eric Hoffer: “You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.”

Marcus Aurelius: “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

Virgil Thomson: “Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.”

Gandhi: “The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.”



Editor's last word: