These are the words of King George VI at the outbreak of WWII. If you know me, you know that I am no fan of the English and now is not the time nor the place to bring up their relationship with the Irish. That being said I want to spend some time looking at fear. Fear of _______ put whatever word you want the the space here that best exemplifies your own fear(s) at the moment however small or gargantuan they are. Fear usually has its genesis in the unknown. When I was in high school and in class and the P.A. went off calling me down to the dean’s office, a stab in the pit of my stomach would follow me down the stairs to the first floor for the “meeting.” All the way down stairs my mind would be going through my bad-person rolodex coming up with some valid reason why I was being called to the dean’s office for a face-to-face. Even if I was innocent, I felt guilty. It was a fear. When I arrived at the office and the dean hands me my forgotten lunch which my mom brought, there was an audible sigh of genuine relief with an immediate urge to pee. Some would say that was an irrational fear, but to me at the time, it was very rational. I reasoned that I wouldn’t be called down to the dean’s office in the middle of class unless I had done something bad, even though I knew I didn’t do any thing bad.
Fear of the unknown is what it is all about, from health care to health. It is the face of change which I cannot control which generates this fear. Skydiving for the first time is scary. Going into a neighborhood in Fallujah as an American soldier is scary. First day of school is scary. In the first instance of sky diving, even though I am with an instructor who may jump with me and who has jumped many times before, it is still my first time. I need to trust this expert before I leap, or I will never leap. In the second instance of the soldier patrolling a neighborhood in Fallujah, the fear is real and somehow I need to rely on my training and my buddies to get out of it alive. And in the last instance, leaving the familiar confines of home and the living room for a class room full of kids who are most likely in the same boat as me this first day, is scary-comforting.
If we knew the complete outcome of every endeavor we attempt, then where’s the adventure and satisfaction of accomplishment. This is not to say that healthy fear has no place. Just sometimes we can become so paralyzed with fear that we do not attempt anything.Take love for example. Love involves risk. If we are so fearful of risking to reach out to the other in a gesture of love, then how can we connect. How can we learn to love? Risk involves the unknown and as I have mentioned above there are calculated risks that people take everyday, from Fallujah to riding down highway 101, and so to with health care.
The left has done a crappy job of explaining exactly what is in the health care bill, and the right has selected sections and twisted them into the cutest little sound-bite phrases like ‘death panels’ and ‘socialism’ it is no wonder people are angry. Their anger is fueled by the fear of the unknown fueled by misrepresentation. When parts of the health care bill are explained in English (there we go again) then people respond by usually nodding their heads and the fear begins to dissipate. There are provisions in this bill which I do not like, but I know why I do not like them, not parrot talking points.
Back in August good decent people showed up at town halls for a civil conversation with their representatives, but their fury was so pronounced that nothing was explained and nothing was heard. Why? They had been so brain washed by people who get their money from Health Insurance lobbyists armed with their clever little talking points, the people saw red. They trusted the talking points instead of checking them out for themselves. Pitch forks and torches were the only things missing. Ignorant people respond with predictable knee jerk extremism when they think they know stuff and really don’t. I’ve mentioned it before, but I believe that some folks who call Obama a socialist have no idea exactly what socialism is. When I watch Fox, sometimes I believe we are either back in the middle ages or at best, at the Salem witch trials.
Winston Churchill shortly after World War II was running again for Prime Minister. His opponent ran on the platform of creating a National Heath Care for the people. Churchill denounced it. He lost. The people wanted it because they understood it. Fear can only be dissipated by knowing. The more the people know whats in the health care bill the better the discussion. Don’t let others, with their agendas of control and power tell you what’s in the bill. If you can read. READ it, keep calm and carry on.