Saturday, March 12, 2016
In his inaugural address in 1933 FDR uttered these words, "The only thing to fear is fear itself" He was referring to the lack of reasoning of the people who reacted in fear and were rushing to the banks and taking their money out. The banks closed until Congress ordered them to reopen. This could have prevented the recovery plans which, following WW1 and the Great Depression, left the people doubting the capacity of the country to right itself after incredible losses.
I have always believed that when we fail to learn from history, we are bound to repeat the same mistakes as those of the past. Ever since I read this admonition by Roosevelt, I've taken it to heart and continued to do so for three quarters of a century now. I never let fear guide my decision because I would, and did, and continue to do so, analyse from A to Z what I might have to face and how I would solve all the problems I could think of. I also knew that luck and positive thinking had a part to play in the equation.
So when I'd tell "people" that now that I had reached retirement age, I was going to use what was left from the sale of my house to pay up my RV and hit the road with my dogs, what I heard more often than not was, "Aren't you afraid?" To which my reply was always "Afraid of what?" The answers were for the most part rather vague or trite. I had done my homework and analysed what I would need "in case of..." and felt prepared and confident that problems could be solved. First I would take precautions and listen to words of warning from those who had done it before me. And include the recounting of their experiences in my plans to avoid similar problems.
You see, those who were afraid had no personal experience of the outcome of such a decision. It's normal for little children to be afraid of the dark; they don't know what might be lurking in there. All one needs to light up the dark is one candle, not a floodlight. When I checked with those who had lived it, most were very generous in sharing their experiences and advised me accordingly. So I left with a good provision of "candles".
I recall when I spent some time at Slab City, meeting with a retired policeman from Santa Cruz. After being told by more than a few men that I needed a gun, I asked him what he thought would be safer for me. I was a woman alone, but had two dogs, a Rottweiler and a large German Shepherd for protection. He replied WITHOUT ANY HESITATION, "If you want to be killed by your own gun, go ahead and get one. It's more of a liability than a security for yourself unless you're trained in self-protection and a skilled marksman." Whoa! He knew from experience and I trusted him. I kept my money -- and my life.
He told me that one night, close to the end of his shift, he witnessed a guy running in the alley from the back of a store that should have been locked. He was really tired and didn't feel he had enough energy to run after the robber. Not again...but he started running and yelled according to protocol, "Stop of I'll shoot!" The guy kept on running. He warned him again, and again, and got the same lack of response. Finally he had a stroke of genius, "Stop or I'll let the dog loose!" In the blink of an eye the guy flattened himself on the ground without hesitation. When my friend went to cuff him, the bad guy asked him, a tad gruffly "Hey, where the f... is the damn dog?"
As if a dog could run faster than a bullet.
Posted by Stargazer at 3:39 PM