Everyone, it seems, is afraid of something these days. Some people are afraid of what will happen to our nation once president-elect Obama takes office. Others are afraid of all-out war in the Middle East. And everyone is afraid of the economy. We're supposed to be in a season of thanksgiving and hope, but right now you'd be hard pressed to find many people embracing these positive emotions. Instead, you're likely to find people who are afraid. Very afraid.
What a shame.
Fear has its merits, such as the "fight or flight" survival instinct built into animals and humans alike who, when faced with a fearful situation, either put up a fight or run for their lives. But the kind of nail-biting fear that is gripping people these days isn't producing the fight or flight response. Instead, the fear we are seeing around us is causing hand-wringing and paralysis. It's the kind of fear that inspires people to do nothing except maybe wait for the tough times to end.