I don't normally share re-shared viral "rah rah" kinds of videos. Heck, I hardly watch them unless I'm just killing time waiting in line at the coffee machine at work. 

This was one of those mornings where I happened to watch. There are a lot of fake Will Smith quotes out there. However, this is actually him talking so I don't think this is a fake quote. If you're an email subscriber, you may need to click here to see the video.

I was also reading through a little CS Lewis this morning over coffee. I pilfered through The Great Divorce and found the story in there about the man and his lizard.

To set it up, The Great Divorce is a fictional story of people from Hell effectively taking an annual field trip to Heaven to see if they want to stay or not. Most people decline and get back on the bus to Hell - living in Heaven is just too hard for them. The story is told through the eyes of one of the bus passengers observing how the "ghosts" from Hell interact with the angels in Heaven.

If it sounds "out there" that's because it honestly kinda is. But it's one of my favorite books of his.  

Anyway, one scenario is a guy (or ghost) with this little red lizard on his shoulder. An angel walks up to him and asks the ghost if he could kill the lizard. The ghost says "yeah I probably should get rid of him but just not today." The angel and ghost go back and forth on whether or not the lizard should be killed. All the while, the lizard is talking in the ghost's ear pleading to not kill him. 

While you're reading this, you're thinking "come on man, just kill the lizard." But this ghost, even though the lizard is something he knows he needs to let go of, can't seem to bring himself to let the angel kill it. The angel killing it would actually hurt the ghost too - it just wouldn't kill the ghost. The idea of that pain and the unknown of not having the lizard is hard. Downright terrifying.

Ultimately, the ghost agrees to let the angel kill the lizard. Once that happens, the ghost slowly starts turning into a man. At that same time, the dead lizard begins his own transformation into the most beautiful stallion the narrator of the story had ever seen. The two end up riding off to a mountain top.

By killing something unhealthy, they were able to become something greater than they had ever imagined. 

Only the unknown frightens men. But once a man has faced the unknown, that terror becomes the known.
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

What's the point?

I'm not really sure to be honest. I'm really just sharing a string of thoughts I had over coffee at 5 A.M. this morning. 

I think it's really just having a healthy attitude towards fear. Fear isn't always a bad thing. It's a primal mechanism we have that prevents us from getting hurt. It warns us of danger and can keep you safe. It's perfectly reasonable to be scared to jump out of an airplane because, well, it can kill you.

Fear can also be misplaced or blown out of proportion. I think the things we're most afraid of are things where we aren't really sure what the outcome will be. When things could go really right but also have an equal shot of going terribly wrong. 

Fear helps us avoid terrible situations - but also runs the risk of prohibiting us from experience some of the greatest experience life has to offer. 

Where have you experienced fear? How did you overcome it? When did you know to listen to it?