The Fear Factor

Heartwings says, “When our opinions influence us, we may act without thinking.”

What if? When you hear that as the beginning of a sentence, do you anticipate a negative or a positive to follow? It is good to know what passes through one’s mind, i.e. to listen to yourself. Doing so can be very enlightening. What do you focus on? Do you look for optimistic outcomes? These and other rhetorical questions can help you to understand how to be happier, even though circumstances might conspire to make you think otherwise.

There is a story from an anthropologist, as I recall being told, that on a certain island in the tropics the monkeys began to wash their food. They were the first to do so. As time went on, it was observed that other monkeys on other islands, without any contact with the first monkeys, began to do the same. How? Perhaps there is an influence working that is generated without effort but simply by a flow of energy.

Along those lines, I recently heard a remarkable Ted Talk that was entitled, “You are Contagious.” I highly recommend looking it up—probably Google will help. What this essentially boils down to, at least to me, is that if we work at it, and enough of us get going at it, we can begin to change the world for the better. This will take time, but if we start where we are and keep it up, it can spread.

Right now, all too many people are driven by fear. Statistically I am told there are four guns for every person in this country. Many of them are automatic, shooting many bullets quickly. We have a gun lobby so powerful that gun laws designed to help often do not get passed. Sadly too, the laws we do have get broken anyway. In this climate of violence, fear and paranoia flourish.

We hear of these tragedies, and it is more and more frustrating because there is nothing we can do, or so we feel. But wait, there’s more! There is something we can do. We can manifest some positive energy to spread an antidote to the fear factor. I’d suggest beginning with gratitude. When you hear of the next awful sadness, turn your thoughts in another direction. Think how grateful you are for or about something in your life.  Express thanks, either silently or aloud, with your next breath. It is not that we don’t sympathize or feel sad about it, it’s that we don’t need to dwell on that sadness. It does not help.

We are all contagious. It is as though each of us is an island in an ocean of being, all connected. Perhaps the water the monkeys used to wash their food somehow carried the message to the monkeys on other islands. No one can say. By living with as much optimism and gratitude as we can, who knows how much influence we can manifest? It would be wonderful to try. Nothing is ever accomplished with endless mourning, nor will peace be bought with a sword.

May you find much to be grateful for and stay optimistic.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

PS If you have stories, questions, comments, or information for me. Please drop me a note at I so like to hear from readers and am enormously grateful.

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