Fear is why military spending is the sacred lamb in our federal budget, even though we’re the most powerful country in the world, by a long shot, outspending the next thirteen countries combined in military spending.
Fear is why we have the highest incarceration rate (mostly, non-violent offenders) in the world by far, even though the rate of violent crime in this country is the lowest it’s been in thirty years.
Fear is why we respond to our neighbors with tanks, tear gas and snipers, when they cry out in pain and confusion.
Fear is only as powerful as we allow it to be. But if fear is a choice, why are we so afraid? I suggest that, in part, our fear is a product of the age in which we live. Even as the Information Age has blessed us with awareness, it has cursed us with an over stimulation of images and information. We’re a country of information addicts. There is a whole progression which has led us to this place (Local news, Cable News, the OJ trial, Internet access, smart phones, Facebook, Twitter), but regardless, here we are trapped in a cycle of irrational fear over the most remote of possibilities.
So, what can we do? Ironically, to survive the Information Age, I think we all need to “Reboot” regularly. In other words, we should all take periodic breaks from the constant flow of content and reattach to the real world. Start with one day a week of no social media. Once you’ve established that habit, try separating yourself from cable news (Fox, MSNBC, CNN, etc…) on that same day of the week as well. Instead, read a newspaper or magazine (The Atlantic and The Economist come to mind). Sure, they report the news as well, but printed media is less stimulating and allows one to process information with more thought and less emotion. There are other things that come to mind (i.e. not posting ratchet material, for one), but this would be a great start.
Fear tells many lies. But in the end, when we are no more, there will be no mention of any nation, religion or pandemic in our obituary. History has shown us that no great empire succumbs to external threats, they collapse from within (Rome slowly eroded from lead in their water, and Egypt from relentless famines as the Sahara became more arid… hint, hint). For if we parish, it will not be at the sword of another, but rather from a lack of faith in one another. And while in this very moment fear whispers to us that we should pull back, faith calls us to reach out, step out, grab a hold and don’t let go.
First, the most dangerous thing in the world is a closed mind. Secondly, Certainty is an illusion, for there is no certainty in the flesh, never was, never will be. These two facts are the bookends of fear.
We close our minds because we crave certainty, but it is a fool’s quest. Better to learn how to press on despite our fears. For if we give into fear, and close our own minds, be become the very thing that we fear.
In my faith tradition, we call this walking by faith. And dare I say that if I am never uncomfortable, then surely there is a question of whether I am truly exercising my Faith.
Struggling with demons
We often see the challenges in our lives, more specifically the demons we struggle against in our lives as some external force or situation. Meaning that we perceive that some sort of external remedy exists which can be a balm for our affliction. Ergo, often if we are depressed we think that changing our situation will bring happiness or perhaps we look for happiness in others. Many look for some new love interest because of the excitement it brings, when in fact doing so is like using duct tape to repair structural damage in your home. And truth be told, to cost of most “temporary fixes” is a far higher than we first thought. But our demons, if we allow them, will always drive us to self medicate. I spent 7 years writing a book, “To Wrestle with Darkness”, about my own demons and how I realized that these issues are innate and not something to take out on those around me. It’s simply not fair. And let’s be clear, I don’t like pain anymore than anyone else. And battling one’s own demons is painful. But I’d rather suffer through than to cause harm to any innocent. I know that often over the last 30 years our culture has preached that we need to do what makes us happy, to pursue our own truth. But I for one really question that. Every action in the universe has a cost. A price must be paid for every decision we act upon. It may not be us paying the fare, but someone will. Be it our children, spouse, significant other, family or friends. To allow a dysfunction within me to wreak havoc in the world around me is not what I want my life to be about. Granted, even still, being the flawed human that I am, my issues transcend my waking reality and seep out into the world around me. But for the purposes of this commentary, I’m stating that I strive every day, regardless of how I might be feeling on the inside, to be a blessing to others. And in turning my focus so, I slowly choke the life out of my own demons.
In honor of Father’s Day, let’s talk about what Manhood is and what it isn’t.
It’s not about always being right.
It’s about being accountable.
It’s not about the notches in your belt.
It’s about having a full heart.
It’s not about carrying the weight of the world.
It’s about bearing your share.
It’s not about being unafraid.
It’s about moving forwards anyway.
It’s not about getting your way.
It’s about putting your family before yourself.
It’s not about being the strongest.
It’s about helping those in need.
In the final analysis being a man is about doing what needs to be done.
Happy Father’s Day.
Often when we think of love, we think of low hanging fruit love, like loving babies or loving those who love us. But are we not called to a higher love, have we not claimed this love? The love we profess is not an easy thing. In fact, it’s the hardest thing. To that end…
Loving those who despise you
Loving those who use you
Loving those who mock you
Seeking no apology
Keeping no account
Looking past yourself
Listening without agenda
Please share as you are led.
Sunday’s Butler-Banks Book Tour author is Davaun Sanders. Please check him out…!
http://ow.ly/i/5nlUn http://ow.ly/i/5nlUr http://ow.ly/i/5nlUu
Thanks for checking out the work of all the authors participating in The 2014 Butler/Banks Book Tour. This is a huge year for many of us, and we couldn’t do what we love without the support of YOU, our readers! I hope you’ve been exposed to your next favorite author and encourage you to leave honest reviews of our work wherever you purchased it! Your feedback to other readers who share your interest is pure gold for indy authors.
Please enjoy the excerpt from my first novel, The Seedbearing Prince: Part I posted below. You can download it for FREE on Amazon for a limited time! The Seedbearing Prince: Part II is also available—click here!
Dayn Ro’Halan’s adventures will continue in The Course of Blades, to be released this summer—the third of six total books in the World Breach series. I’m really excited about this novel, it’s going to be the best one yet.
That being said…let’s do a giveaway!
Rules are simple: send me a picture of yourself READING a novel by ANY AUTHOR on The Butler/Banks Book Tour. You use an e-reader? Great. Reading in costume, or upside down? Even better! Go crazy—just keep it SFW please! Share with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
I’ll post your pictures to my Facebook and happily send you a FREE ebook of The Seedbearing Prince: Part II OR “The Course of Blades” when it is released this summer. We’ll all pretty much be famous together. It’s all so clear to me.
Let the photobomb commence, because this giveaway ends with the last day of the Butler/Banks Book Tour, April 30th!
The Seedbearing Prince Part I: Prologue
The torrent shifted again, and a thousand shards of onyx flashed to fire as Corian swept through a roiling field of ice and stone. The sheath on his worn black armor held, but would not last much longer. The stream of rock in the space between the worlds drifted slower here, and boasted several floating mountains large enough to hold a layer of air. Green ferns covered the surface of the nearest, providing plenty of cover. Corian was tempted to stop and rest, but crater wolves likely roamed in such thick foliage. The entire World Belt hung on the message he bore to the Ring, and he could rest after his task was done.
A field of red granite stretched in the space above him like the bizarre clouds of some nightmare, the individual boulders careening off each other by the hundreds. Only the hardest minerals and metals endured the endless pounding of the rock flow, and only the most foolish men would brave such a swath of torrent. They were moving the direction he needed to go, into the flow where the rock moved fastest. In the torrent, speed kills, he reminded himself. He was the best courser among the Ring’s Guardians, but the rock never cared.
Corian deftly attached a new talon to what remained of his silver wingline, then heaved it. The metal hook took hold, his wingline snapped taut, and the boulder yanked Corian into the flow. He repeated the process, each time roping a boulder moving faster, until his last guide rock pulled him along at hundreds of spans a second. A layer of white frost appeared on his armor and mask in a blink. He reeled himself in and clung to the red surface, like a flea riding a river bison in the middle of a stampeding herd. He watched every direction at once from his perch, digging his gauntlets into the crumbling surface. The boulder was actually some ancient rusted metal, not granite as he first thought. The torrent here was so thick he could barely see the stars, and it filled his ears with a distant roar.
He sped along this way for some time, until he spied a pockmarked mass of stone and iron, large as a dwarf moon. A cleft right down the middle threatened to split the entire thing in half. A tower in the northern axis had seen more than its fair share of rust, but the light strobing from it pulsed…
“Some will always take kindness for weakness. But that is the price of living in what you know to be true.” Quote from Heretics, due in 2015.