The purpose of Bring Truth to Fear is to (1) Realize how fear and disregard for truth undermine our capacity to work together to solve problems and improve our lives; (2) Help us understand the essential components of fear and truth and their effects on our health and effectiveness; (3) Provide simple strategies and techniques to restore balance and determine what is true and relevant; and, (4) Offer a vision of what a life that seeks truth without being dominated by fear might look like.
Think of problems we face today: Racism… Coronavirus… Political divisiveness… – the list goes on and it’s long and troublesome. Fear and misleading information play a major role in these problems while making them harder to solve. They undermine our capacity to understand what’s happening and impede our ability to work together to respond effectively.
Fear and misinformation are the core of racism. The roots of racism can be traced to fear of retribution and loss of economic and political status by those who benefited from slavery and colonialism. Misinformation and fear have been consistently used to manipulate people of color as well as those who oppress them. We will not overcome racism until we recognize how we have been and continue to be conditioned to fear each other. This requires seeking the truth of who we are and who we can be.
Fear and misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic have led to overreaction, denial, hoarding, shortages, and a range of mental health concerns. Fears of economic, social, and political loss have led people to ignore precautions and act in ways that threaten the health and well being of many. We will not effectively manage this pandemic until we accept the truth of how it spreads and transform reactive fear into reasonable caution and concern.
Fear has been used for decades to create divisiveness for political gain and we face an increasing avalanche of misinformation. Our capacity to understand what’s needed to adapt to a world changing at an accelerated pace is severely limited. We won’t be able to understand and learn from each other until we recognize how manufactured fear separates us into fixed categories that distort how we see ourselves and each other. We will not be able to work together to solve our problems until we learn to question the information we receive and demand that our leaders commit to telling the truth.
Fear is also a significant component of stress, which undermines our health while it saps our energy and productivity. Body, mind, and emotions react to fear in much the same way as to stress from pressure, worry, and exhaustion. The skills and capacity needed to effectively manage fear are much the same as those needed deal with stress in a healthy way. We can learn to live healthy lives when we see the truth of what stress does to us and understand how to restore and maintain balance.
Coronavirus attacks the body by weakening our immune system and creating cells that undermine our ability to breathe. Fear and distortion of the truth have weakened our minds and created mistrust and narrow vision that undermine our ability to work together to solve problems and improve our lives.
Truth is an effective antidote to fear. Everything we fear can be dealt with more effectively to the extent we seek to understand what’s happening and work together to find solutions.
When we bring truth to fear, we obtain a clearer picture of real and imagined threats. We learn to identify the bias and agenda of those who use fear to promote their own interests. We begin to see how fear-based messages that encourage tolerance of racism and promote divisiveness are constructed and how they permeate our media driven culture. We can choose to replace reactivity with a desire to understand. We can learn to ask questions and seek reasonable answers based on verifiable information.
When we bring truth to fear, we can deal with threats with our feet on the ground and our eyes fully open. When our vision is no longer dominated exclusively by what’s wrong in our world, we can begin to put things right. We can begin to recognize the true value and potential of all that surrounds us. We can begin to see who we are and what we can be.
Bringing truth to fear helps us acknowledge and overcome our flaws and limitations, learn from our mistakes, see opportunities, avoid pitfalls, and recognize that there’s a best way to deal with every situation, no matter how dire. Seeking Truth opens our minds and our hearts. It helps us realize the power and the value of working together. It helps us see that everyone has a contribution to make.