As Sir Winston Churchill said:
“One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!”
“Easier said than done,” we might say. Sometimes it seems like fear is everywhere.
It’s almost like the world tries to educate us to be afraid, tries to make fear our master, our king.
Emily Dickinson understood this “education for fear.” But she pointed to another education we need even more.
We never know how high we are till we are called to rise,
And then if we are true to plan, our statures touch the skies;
The heroism we recite would be a daily thing
Did not ourselves the cubits warp for fear to be a king.
We can’t eliminate fear. It’s a part of life—even a necessary part. It keeps us from walking into traffic or doing other dumb things.
But we can dethrone fear; learn to get the upper hand on fear. That’s the education Dickinson points to.
It’s an education that teaches us we are bigger than our fears because we are human beings.
It’s an education that reminds us that “we are called to rise.” Not to shrink. Not to cringe.
It’s an education that teaches us there is nothing we can’t face, and therefore…
…it is an education in daily heroism.