Last fall, I posted a picture (that picture, right over there) on instagram, a quote from the movie After Earth: “Fear is not real. It is a product of the thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.”
Today’s guest, Bret Turner, and I ended up having a fantastic, lengthy and deep conversation that started with this quote. I absolutely love instagram, and this kind of thing is why – without it, I would never have met this thoughtful first grade teacher and father to a 17-month-old girl.
I love these People-In-Your-Neighborhood conversations, with parents just like you, out in the real world, combining family and work in a balance that allows for contentment, positivity, and joy. Bret and I talk about all kinds of things, from why music is such a great transitional tool for young children to the positive lessons older kids and teens can take from Inara, the beloved prostitute on Joss Whedon’s short-lived gem, Firefly.
Click here go to weturnedoutokay.com and read more about my conversation with Bret!
Bret, his wife, and their daughter live in Berkeley, California, and Bret’s initial thoughts on my instagram quote from After Earth were that as a white, straight, middle-class American man, it seemed very privileged to him to go around talking about how “fear is a choice.” Sure, he could choose to fear or not – but does a Syrian refugee or a young black American man have that same choice?
A valid point. But when I came back in our instagram conversation and shared that, as a seven-year-old, I had been molested and really wish that I’d been introduced to the idea of fear-as-a-choice, because thinking of fear as something I can control would have helped as I grew up with the feelings of guilt and fear – the molester threatened my life if I ever told – and of course Bret completely understood where I was coming from.
So we had this really cool meeting of the minds, which seems to rarely happen in modern discourse, where we can each understand the other’s point and even agree with it, expanding both of our perspectives and helping us appreciate our different perspectives as well.
I hope that our conversation helps you face your fears, whether about the wider world or in your own home!
Watch this TED talk with conductor Ben Zander – seriously, right now. You’ll be glad you did!
I have not listened to this particular episode of This American Life, but Bret took a lot from it.
Download the free gift I made for you, the 9 1/2 Key Resources for Old-School Parents, here.