Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Friday, May 11, 2012

Overcoming Intimidation

When I review my life I find many failures and a good number of successes. But of course my biggest regrets lie with the failures. When I analyze the circumstances of failure I find one common thread – mind-blowing intimidation. I have come to view submission to intimidation as no less than a major sin. Intimidation paralyzes action and thought. Intimidation can arise from people, situations, or complex subjects. As I mentioned the other day, I have lately watched Cosmos with Carl Sagan as presenter. Today I watched episode nine which was on the life-cycle of stars. This surely is an intimidating subject for anyone (ridiculously so for laymen). But as a human being I am to do more than freeze under a duress of fear precipitated by complex subjects. I am to keep an open mind and understand to the best of my ability. This ability obviously will be less for me than for many others. But I feel it is a sin for me to turn away from the subject out of fear and discouragement. I am to understand to the extent that I can, to keep an open mind, and to entertain new concepts and ideas. I must avoid intimidation and the resultant mind paralysis. What goes for the birth of stars goes for all other subjects. And not only subjects, but people (and the status they represent), and situations however dicey. My role as a human being is always to use my mind and the leadings of the inner voice to remain steady and to do what is right. I have come to feel that "fight or flight" is not an acceptable option for me. Perhaps it has something to do with my time of life. To fly now so I can live to fight another day is really not much of an option for someone in the latter part of life. I must stand, say, and do what's right. I must of necessity overcome the sin of submission to intimidation.

We are likely facing the makings of intimidating circumstances at home and abroad. I'm especially concerned with the United States and its proven tendency to acquiesce to various addictions – one principally being greed. In the name of entitlement on the one hand and of free enterprise on the other we relinquish our ethical moorings. All sorts and varieties of indisputable authorities are presented to show how greed is the only option. Our patriotism, indeed our religion, is called into question if we hesitate or disagree.

It is in this light that I contemplate future trials. Under this cultural pressure the divisions that separate Muslims, Jews, and Christians will prove frivolous. The one thing that unites us is faith. We cannot and will not shake the abiding belief that each one of us has a purpose, and that humanity has a purpose, and indeed that the world and the cosmos have a purpose. And if there is action which helps fulfill this purpose, there is action that confounds it. We cannot believe that the creation exists by pure chance and accident. We cannot believe that life is simply a game won by those employing the most adept "spin doctor". We believe in right paths to affirm and wrong directions to eschew. While there is often joy and celebration in life, it nevertheless rests upon deadly serious and fundamental purposes. This unites us in a common faith. The challenges to our faith are great; we must stand firm and not yield to intimidation—however massive, impressive, or bullying the spinners of dead-end fantasies.

Print Page