Wednesday, February 20, 2008

On Fear: Two Men; Four Quotes

"Get on the damn elevator! Fly on the damn plane! Calculate the odds of being harmed by a terrorist! It’s still about as likely as being swept out to sea by a tidal wave. Suck it up, for crying out loud. You’re almost certainly going to be okay. And in the unlikely event you’re not, do you really want to spend your last days cowering behind plastic sheets and duct tape? That’s not a life worth living, is it?"

-- Senator John McCain in 2004, in Why Courage Matters.

"The most important obligation of the next President is to protect Americans from the threat posed by violent extremists who despise us, our values and modernity itself. They are moral monsters, but they are also a disciplined, dedicated movement driven by an apocalyptic zeal, which celebrates murder, has access to science, technology and mass communications, and is determined to acquire and use against us weapons of mass destruction."

-- Senator John McCain on February 19, 2008, in a post-primary victory speech.

"We are proud of who we are.
We stand up for what we believe.
We keep our families together.
We trust in God but rely on ourselves.

Standing up for what you believe has nothing to do with being violent or being obnoxious because of some perceived oppression. This attitude has to do with a quiet determination to have your opinion explained and heard. To be effective, it also has to be respectful and fair. The most effective way of standing up is always going to be the nonviolent way, quiet but determined."

-- Homer Hickam, author of October Sky, The Coalwood Way, Sky of Stone, and We Are Not Afraid, describing the courageous and inspiring attitude of the residents of Coalwood, West Virginia.

"Despite the ills of our society, we largely live among compassionate, kind and optimistic people who are striving to do good. [...] Learn how to be happy and keep this in mind: You can't be happy unless you stop being afraid."

-- Homer Hickam, author, in a January 2008 eZine article.

Image via Howstuffworks.

Also at Cogitamus.

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