Being a big fan of Hunter S. Thompson, a “Captain Obvious” style thought comes to mind. “Fear and Loathing” comes from a frequently used phrase HST about dealing with fear.
“I understand that fear is my friend, but not always. Never turn your back on Fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed. My father taught me that, along with a few other things that have kept my life interesting.”
Or, this one sums it up a little better.
“We are turning into a nation of whimpering slaves to Fear—fear of war, fear of poverty, fear of random terrorism, fear of getting down-sized or fired because of the plunging economy, fear of getting evicted for bad debts or suddenly getting locked up in a military detention camp on vague charges of being a Terrorist sympathizer.” —”Extreme Behavior in Aspen,” February 3, 2003
He never really put out there what the fear was. The fear is a simple thing…the full knowledge that after all your work, everything you have can disappear in an instant, taken away by some unknown “they” or “them.”
It starts when you’re always afraid
Step out of line, the men come and take you away
The reality behind that simple line has kept us a nation of whimpering, cowering grumbling malcontents.
For the record, this isn’t my first journey into what many of my friends consider folly. Right after the first Gulf War, I did the same thing, packing all my crap into a beat up 1978 Chevy Chevette that ALREADY had over 200k miles on it. I quit my job, took my meager savings, spent over half of it on gas and tolls, and ended up in Jacksonville, Florida.
That is when the fear conquered me. It beat me down like I owed it money, and had just been caught balls deep in its red-headed sister. I crawled back to Portland and started over, getting my old job back.
I never should have done it, let the fear beat me. It’s taken nearly twenty years for me to haul myself off the canvas from that beating. Now that I’m dedicated to the idea that I’ll never let the fear beat me again, the only thing left to do is spit out a tooth, smile, raise the gloves again, and ask “is that all you got?”