Last week I wrote about faith and a number of people asked me to elaborate. Real faith, and not religious dogma, liberates us from fear and opens us up to actions that will improve the world. Writing about a quality I need to encourage in myself is one way I can focus on what I can do in response to the challenges the world presents. Last week I was starting to feel discouraged about the direction this country is taking.
The world can overwhelm us unless we can use the opportunities that problems represent to improve those qualities we have and do what we can to change what is wrong in the world. It’s too easy to give in to hopelessness and fear (just turn on cable news 24/7). The economy, wars, climate change… let alone the personal struggles we face every day… life can be hard and it can be a challenge. I choose to look at life as a challenge.
So many times in the past people have remarked to me about how I seem to be able to handle very stressful situations so easily. Well, it’s not easy, and I do feel anxious or unsure at times. I am only human. When facing death threats (as I did when representing Jack Kevorkian and the right of self-determination) or representing the victims of police brutality, running for Governor or even facing prosecution (persecution) by the Government – I am human and I do have times when I feel anxious or hopeless. In fact, I have those moments in every trial. I choose to not focus on the situation – or give in to the whining and hand-wringing. I choose to look inward and challenge myself to overcome any feelings or challenge the world presents to me. If I feel fear it is because I need to have more faith and act like it.
We all have more influence over our lives than we think – the world doesn’t defeat us, we do. Not me, not in any trial, not in this lifetime.