24 February 2013

Rwanda: There's No Need to Be Afraid


A story goes that one day two thieves went to a church cemetery to steal fruits. After picking them from the trees they sat down and started sharing them. They wanted to share equally. So one of the thieves would pick a fruit for himself and then puts another on his colleague's side saying "One for me and one for you".

In the meantime, a drunkard who had strayed to the cemetery heard them and thought the world had come to an end and so it was God and Satan sharing the souls in the graves. He almost jumped out of his skin in fear. I imagined he must have even forgotten that he was drunk! He rushed at a speed that would make athletic champions amateurs, till he arrived at the church house.

He confessed his sins to the priest and then narrated the story. In a moment the drunkard and the priest were on their way to the cemetery to witness the scene. The voice was still loud and clear: "One for me and one for you"!

"Eeeeeeh, I think now God and Satan are through with the souls in the graves and now they are sharing ours, but since I am a man of God I think God will take mine," fidgeted the priest.

"But remember I have just confessed my sins, so God has to take me," interjected the drunkard. None of them was sure which side he belonged, so they both took off in fear.

Not everything that terrifies us is real. The priest and the drunkards were scared to the bone by what was not real. They feared just an imagined situation. How we often fear people and situations for no apparent reason! There's a time I read a story regarding someone who was put in a freezer which was not switched on but she died. The doctor's post-mortem confirmed she had died of 'coldness'.

But of course imagined coldness - i.e. fear - because there was no real coldness in a freezer that was not switched on. Could it be that you, too, are often afraid of what's not real?

FEAR has been referred to as "False Evidence Appearing Real" because most of what we fear is not real.

For instance, someone can fear that a spouse may cheat on him/her and reach the extent of getting ulcers yet it may have never crossed the spouse's mind to cheat. People get jobs but immediately begin fearing what will happen when they lose them. Instead of concentrating on being productive, they concentrate on looking out for reasons why they may lose that job.

No one can fully unleash his/her potential when still engulfed with fear. Fear is the chain that ties our hands when we want to act.

Fear is the lid that covers our mouths when we are about to open them and market ourselves or our products. Fear is the internal voice that gives us reasons why we shall fail instead of why we shall succeed.

Continue reading this column. I will soon share with you the various types of fear and how I overcame each one of them.

Robert Bake Tumuhaise is the MD World of Inspiration & founder of the Authors' Forum in Uganda.

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