Security or opportunity?

Out of the walls and through the gate: Amy goes exploring with me in Ypres (Ieper) Belgium, one March evening in 2007

Out of the walls and through the gate:
Amy goes exploring with me in Ypres (Ieper) Belgium, one March evening in 2007

“There is no security on this earth.  Only opportunity.” General Douglas MacArthur

“Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity; they seem more afraid of life than of death.”James F. Byrnes

There’s nothing like watching or reading the news to create feelings of insecurity.  Violence erupts all over the globe, and some stories will be endlessly repeated, as if to milk every bit of air time possible out of the chapters and verses of the unfolding tales of evil.  But there is really no place to go that is completely secure, and even if you’re locked up tight in the self-imposed prison of your home, illness and injury can strike you there as well.

I’m one of those people who gets defiant when threatened.  The more dangerous the outside world sounds, the more determined I am not to shrink from it in fear.  The interesting thing is, I think this attitude makes me safer than if I was always running from my own shadow.  And even if boldness does not make my life safer, at least it’s way more interesting to be out there exploring than hiding in a closet someplace.  I take plenty of common-sense precautions, but I don’t cancel trips or avoid going downtown because of scary things I hear on the news.

Whether your worst fears are of physical danger or psychological intimidation, I wish for you the boldness to face squarely whatever it is that terrifies you.  You may need courage to make travel plans, make a speech or make a new friend, but the rewards of overcoming the paralysis of anxiety are many and self-sustaining.  And you’ll be bolstered by the discovery that there are plenty more friendly people than unfriendly ones.  We’re out here, waiting to meet you!

This post was originally published seven years ago today, yet it seems strangely appropriate during a scenario I could never have imagined when I wrote it. This post may find you venturing gradually back into the wider world, or trying to summon the courage to go someplace besides the grocery store. Just as I did seven years ago today, “I wish for you the boldness to face squarely whatever it is that terrifies you.”

The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good morning, Julia! I like this post.
    Although today we need to assess our needs and balance going to places with appropriate prudence and caution, there’s another aspect here that seems key: the courage to create or “make.” Your examples, “make travel plans, make a speech or make a new friend”, don’t require throwing all caution to the wind. Yet, these undertakings do take resolve and grit, and can require us to “step out” of our comfort zones or out of the self-image that we habitually cling to.
    Thanks for this blog post!

    • Susan, you’re welcome! I always need this advice myself. For me, the combined forces of inertia, discomfort with social situations, and pure old-fashioned laziness can prove powerful obstacles to getting anywhere in almost any endeavor.

  2. Chris

    Hi Julia, I hope you had a good week. After talking about MacArthur last week, today we have a quote from him. What a coincidence. Whether one is adventuresome, or fool hearty, exercising a little common sense is usually a good thing. Then, having a solid foundation in faith and trusting that faith, one will gain/have confidence to move beyond their comfort zone. Stay safe, be healthy, and have a good weekend!

    • Chris, that is a coincidence! Since I schedule these re-runs well in advance, I had totally forgotten I had a MacArthur quote coming up. This has been a nice week here, with warming temperatures and blooming shrubs and plants. Hope all is well in your world too. Thanks for being here.

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