There is a lot of fear going around today.
A lot of fear.
We are sad. We are scared. We are scarred.
But it’s not what you think.
I want to start with a disclaimer. I’m sad for what has happened recently in Paris, France. I mourn with the families that have lost people. I even empathically feel their pain and fear.
The amount of media coverage has blossomed the event in our minds to epic proportions. France is changing their military stance to the world based on this event. The US is trying to block refugees from coming into the US because of it. We are in full blown defensive mode.
But the world still needs our compassion. To shut down compassion as a result of this would be an epic failure on our part and a triumph for terror.
Thursday night, I was at a concert in San Francisco. One of the major attacks happened at a concert in France.
My mind went there. What if it had been my concert? What if attackers had come in during my event. What if I had been killed?
In a way, that was the point of the attacks. To take everyday situations and turn them in moments of terror. To remove people from normal behavior patterns and make them afraid.
The job of the terrorist is only half done with the attack. We empower the terrorist by telling the story over and over again.
It can be helpful to know. It can be beneficial to mourn.
That time is over. It is now time to move on. It is time to stay awake and be aware, but let go of fear. Don’t let yourself be dragged through the mud. Don’t consume what the terrorist and the media are feeding you. It’s not a healthy diet.
You will not die in a terrorist attack. I can say that with 99.999 percent certainty.
There are 7 billion people in the world. If we were to lose 1000 people to terrorism in the last year (which is an over-estimate), that would mean the odds of dying from a terrorist attack are 1/7,000,000. The odds of being struck by lightning in the US are 1/1,000,000. This means you are 7 times more likely to be struck by lightning than you are to die in a terrorist attack.
I can say with 99.999 percent certainty that you’re not going to get struck by lightning.
You will live forever. Then one day you will die.
You are immortal. Until you are mortal.
This is not a threat.
This is not a warning.
This is a fact.
It is the best-kept secret on the planet. For some reason, nobody likes to talk about it. Everybody dies.
All life will end. Your body will cease functioning at some point. At that point, life will be over.
Until that point, don’t let anyone take the joy of being alive from you. Not the terrorists. Not ISIS. Not the media. Live your life, love your life, you are alive.
You don’t need to live preparing for that moment.
You don’t need to live fearing that moment.
At the end of the day today, I will go to bed. It doesn’t mean I need to spend all day in my pajamas in my bedroom prepping for that moment. It doesn’t mean I need to even think about going to bed all day. My focus will be a thousand other places today. When my day ends, then I will prepare and I will go to sleep. Not before.
My death is the same. My death may appear to come in the middle of the day or long after midnight. I may fall in my prime. I may pass in waning hours withered and forgotten.
But until that moment, I am alive. So are you.
I must not fear, fear is the mind killer.
Don’t fall for it. Don’t believe that everyone in the world is out to get you. Believe in love. Believe in peace.
Don’t believe in a sinister force that must be destroyed in order for you to have peace. Peace cannot be attained through warfare.
Today I send my love and joie de vivre to France. I send my love and joy of living to the world. What the world needs today is the same thing it needed last week, your love, your compassion, and your joy.