A few months ago I heard Bob Goff speak, and he got me thinking about something.
Do you remember the legend of Johnny Appleseed? You probably heard stories about him when you were a kid. He walked all over the place, dropping apple seeds wherever he went and growing up orchards all across the continent.
I think Bob’s like that guy, only instead of dropping apple seeds, he drops little truth bombs everywhere he goes.
I can’t wait to see what they grow up into.
Anyway, the thing Bob said that I’ve been thinking about is this: When you’re not afraid, the people around you are not afraid.
I am not fearless, as it turns out.
There was a snake in my driveway last week and I considered never walking back out to my car. I’ve pretty much ruled out opening the garage door ever again. Who needs a garage that opens? What do we even keep out there? Bikes? I can live without a bike.
So how do we get fearless?
I don’t know, but I do know that fear and love don’t play well together. There’s not room for both.
Love starts herding fear out the door.
If I loved the snake, I guess I would be less afraid of walking out to my front yard, but I don’t see that happening any time soon. That’s okay, though, because love is creative. Love has other ideas.
What if instead of trying to love the snake, I work on loving the world—the whole thing? The world is a big, creative gift that we get to walk around in every day. I love that.
And that totally benign, not-poisonous garden snake is part of it.
Huh. I guess I could believe that.
Even a little tiny crumb of love starts pushing back at fear, and fearlessness spreads.
Wouldn’t you rather live brave?
Wouldn’t you rather make decisions from a place of peace?
If you’re walking around afraid—afraid of those people, afraid of ideas that aren’t your own, afraid of change—you won’t spread fearlessness. You’ll spread fear.
That’s the way it works.
If we want to be a community of people unafraid of the future, unafraid to change the world, unafraid of doing the right thing—and here I’m going to define the “right thing” as being thing one that brings more peace, more patience, more goodness, more gentleness, more kindness, more joy to any situation—we need to be people who love well and love often.
Love drives away fear, and then that fearlessness spreads.
We can start being who we’re meant to be and doing what we were made to do. Our fearlessness spills out onto the people around us so they can start being who they were made to be, too.
Fearlessness spreads, love kicks out fear.
If you want to be a little more fearless, start by spreading the love.