Fear Turned Into Stone

don't let it be the prevailing message of the time

There was a moment early on in Biden’s presidency when he doubled masked while on a zoom call with world leaders. When asked about it, he responded that he was trying to be an example. An example for what exactly? Even if you believe that masks work, wearing one on a zoom call is not an example of responsibility — it’s one of fear. 

This particular situation wasn’t one of Biden being incompetent or dumb or mindless, though he’s typically all of those things. He, and more importantly, the people who run him, knew exactly what they were doing. Fears sells, and it’s being doing a whole lot of selling over the past year and a half. 

In The Decline of the West, Oswald Spengler briefly writes about a period of time when certain peoples were absolutely certain they were living in an apocalyptic age. As a result of this belief, the art of that the age is depressing and, well, apocalyptic. “Fear turned into stone,” is how Spengler summed it up. 

That phrase resonates with me. The images of today, when looked at in the future, will also portray fear. It’s been strapped upon our faces, stickered to the store floor, and is constantly scrolling on our TV and phone screens. The choices are clear: be afraid and comply; live in fear or you’ll die. 

And when thinking about how this time might be portrayed in the future, it irks me to know how history has been written in the past — by the “winners,” of course. Will double-masked Biden and fear-peddling salesman Tony Fauci be lauded as the heroes of the day? Unfortunately, it’s possible. 

However, it’s also possible that those of us who don’t live our lives as though the air is poison could potentially be looked at as the “winners” for those who come after us. Perhaps, while they throw their stones of fear at the world, we paint a picture of hope and courage in our everyday lives. 

How does this look though — this painting and portraying the opposite of fear in our everyday lives? 

I don’t have all the answers to that question, but as a start: begin with taking care of your body through exercise and a healthy diet; by taking care of your mind through creative endeavors, and through less social media, more reading; and by taking care of your soul through increasing your faith, as well as by spending time with the people who matter most to you. 

When considering all the above, think of what hasn’t been allowed during the Covid fear-mongering: gyms were closed or had restricted hours; we became more addicted to screens, through both work and entertainment; and churches were closed, and you weren’t allowed to be with other people.

It’s a simple start, but it’s the opposite of what’s been pushed on us from the beginning. Also, simple is beautiful, and beauty is the opposite of fear. So while they push fear, we should exemplify beauty and courage, and perhaps the people looking back at this time will chronicle it accordingly.