Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Wow, what a lovely topic, huh?
Yet, again, this is something that many of us can relate to as we go through this journey called life. Before I go any further, think about that last sentence and look at the last word found in that sentence - LIFE!
First and foremost - let's stop focusing on death and start LIVING LIFE!
This discussion follows the listing of the "Six Ghosts of Fear" in chapter 15 of Napoleon Hill's classic book, "Think & Grow Rich" in which he discusses "How to Outwit the Six Ghosts of Fear". I state pretty clearly that I totally disagree with Mr. Hill's deductions in the discussion of the fear of death. You may totally agree with him, and that's o.k. too!
Mr. Hill's deduction in this section is that the fear of death arose from religion and the ideas about heaven and/or hell. Now, I know I'm simplifying this a great deal, but I do think this is the main point of his deduction. He goes on to suggest that with the advance of colleges and universities during the time of this writing (this is the 1937 version) that "higher learning" has pretty much done away with this type of thinking, thus pretty much ridding our society of this fear of death.
It is interesting to me that, after all these years, we are still plagued by that very fear. Sure, some of it has to do with misunderstandings of Christianity, for example. I remember as a young child hearing the "fire and brimstone" sermons that had me so afraid I didn't know what to do. However, as I have grown and matured and studied on my own I have no reason to be afraid. As a matter of fact, for me, I have no fear of death BECAUSE OF my beliefs!
I believe that the core root of this fear is the FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN. We don't like the unknown. Are you afraid of the dark or do you know someone that is? Why does that fear exist? Again, the FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN - we can't see what 's in the dark and that frightens us!
Actually, if you look back over many of the fears that we have looked at in this study you will find that many of them are tied into the FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN.
Let's take a quick look at this by starting with the FEAR OF POVERTY - we are afraid of what might happen if we slip into poverty (the fear of the unknown).
Even the FEAR OF CRITICISM can be tied in with the fear of the unknown. We may cease from acting a certain way or doing a certain thing or living a certain way because we fear what someone else MIGHT think or say to us. So, we just decide not to do something in hopes that we will be "safe" from any possible (unknown) criticism.
The same can also be said of the FEAR OF GETTING SICK. This, again, is the "what if" factor (a disguised version of the fear of the unknown). "What if" I get this disease or that disease? "What if" I catch this or that? This type of fear drives some to cease contact with all people and any circumstance that may involve germs. This sounds extreme (and it is) but it is all tied into the fear of the unknown.
And, yes, we can even tie the fear of the unknown to the FEAR OF LOSING LOVE. As was stated in the discussion of this fear, we can be in a perfectly HEALTHY relationship and allow the fear of losing that relationship to impact it to the point that we actually DO lose that relationship. Friend, ANYTHING that involves the future (is there anything that DOESN'T?) has the unknown attached to it! That's just part of life!
The FEAR OF SICKNESS is closely tied in with the FEAR OF DEATH and both of them, again, are connected to the fear of the unknown. Do I need to explain that fact with these two fears? No, I think you can follow through with that thought yourself.
We DON'T KNOW what lies on the other side of death. Mr. Hill even acknowledges that fact in this discussion. Different beliefs have different thoughts and ideas about the matter and you can study ancient civilizations and discover what they believed about what comes after death by even uncovering their graves. Even those of us who believe in a "life after death" it is still unknown in that we have never experienced it before and don't know what it may be like.
Death, itself, is an unknown. Sure, we can read or listen to accounts of those that have had the "near death" experiences but, until we experience it ourself, it is unknown to us.
So, what do we do? Should we just curl up and wait to die? It is inevitable, right?
The very fact that death is inevitable should help us realize that we need to get out and LIVE!
Tim McGraw had a very popular song a few years ago that talked about this very thing. The song is entitled, "Live Like You Were Dying" and it discusses the life of a man that received bad news from his doctor that due to some tumor or other cause his life would be coming to an end sooner than he had planned. I'm not going to post the words to the entire song (you can easily find the lyrics on line) but the main point of the song is the fact that the man decided to live life to the full and to also encourage each and every one of us to do the same - to LIVE like you were dying!
I do, however, want to include these few words toward the end of the song as we're encouraged to live....
Like tomorrow was a gift
And you got eternity to think about what you'd do with it.
An' what did you do with it?
An' what can I do with it?
An' what would I do with it?"
One change I'd make in that wording - TODAY is the gift because tomorrow may never come.
What will you do with TODAY?
Why not LIVE it with every ounce of your being? Why not LIVE it with NO REGRETS?
It's yours to live however you choose - what will YOU do with it?
Remember... "Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

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