The Sky, Once Fallen

The Bloganuary Challenge today asks the question, “How are you brave?”

My first reply was: I’m not. I’m a very fearful person by nature. Someone once said, “You’ve faced breast cancer (1980) and leukemia (2012 and now again.) You must be very brave.” However, a person steps into, or endures, different things simply because she has to. The option–in this case, dying–is unacceptable.

As to the question at hand: I suppose I could say I’m brave when it comes to THEORIES. Brave, or cynical, or maybe a heretic. If everyone around you has accepted a theory as absolute fact and you say, “Don’t believe it,” that makes you a heretic, right? Well, I don’t jump on “The-sky-is-falling!” platforms or panic at the current conspiracy theories.

For example, when we first heard about COVID-19 I read so many warnings, so many Spanish ‘flu comparisons and horrifying predictions. No influenza can be taken lightly. Yes, we need to take precautions, both for our own sake and for the sake of folks around us. But my thinking was: Let’s be sensible here. The sky is falling every day for someone — and there are a lot worse ways it can hit you than with COVID-19.

Husband and I had a discussion lately about Chicken Little’s tale. Chickens will very soon get into a panic and start flapping around; this tale likens them to humans responding to false alarms. One difference I see, though: chicken by nature may soon get agitated, but I doubt they enjoy this state. Humans, on the other hand, curiously enjoy the frisson of being terrified and/or put in a panic. (Check the bestseller list if you don’ believe me.)

Media folks have tapped into this basic human desire for excitement and made lucrative careers from agitating and scaring people. But I wonder: can the blue sky above, once everyone says it’s fallen, be too hard to see again? Can common sense, so often buried by fear, be hard to take hold of again?

I’m afraid of wild animals, difficult situations, menacing strangers, people being upset with me. But theories and giant conspiracies, I can face bravely.

7 thoughts on “The Sky, Once Fallen

    1. An interesting thought and true — at least in part. Some people seem to have courage without fear — like David facing Goliath — but there must be some threat as the backdrop. I believe there’s a courage that comes from God that simply carries people in time of trouble, too.

      I’m not sure why it is that when I read about mass fear of the unknown (like Covid) I don’t hear much about courage standing up strong. Maybe in individuals, but those people aren’t mentioned?

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      1. I think that courage was shown by the physicians, nurses, and therapists who were there in Covid’s early days, people prepared to help the very sick and dying people before there were vaccines or treatments. My own doctor was brave. They knew the risks better than anyone. They had to have been afraid.

        Fear doesn’t have just one face, either. There’s fear that comes from lack of knowledge, fear that comes from superstitious belief, fear that comes from a genuine threat — maybe as many fears as there are people.

        When the fire was coming at my town in CA I wasn’t in the least afraid. I knew I would do whatever I had to do to keep myself and my animals safe. BUT after some really horrible relationships, I’m terrified of trying that again.

        I wasn’t much afraid of Covid. It was clear to me that NOT getting it was preferable TO getting it and it was easy to be careful. If I’d still been in CA teaching, that would have been the end. I knew I was very lucky to be here instead.

        Other things? I’m alone and sometimes that scares me. As you know, we can be blind-sided by serious illness. That’s scares me, too, mostly because I live where health care isn’t great. BUT you know so far divine providence has been a good friend and guide and I trust that.

        So I don’t know. Hemingway defined courage as grace under pressure. I kind of like that.

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