"We have nothing to fear but fear itself," came to mind during the shocking news from Las Vegas. Roosevelt's wife, Eleanor, wrote, "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
Comebacks take a long time. Facing fear and "doing the next thing" sounds old and hollow in the midst of tragedies we are now facing. Fear last Sunday seized 22,000 at a concert, and the next thing was blood. How long it will take survivors and loved ones to recover is hard to know. It has been a long time for those in my community of Columbine. Many have helped them with the next thing.
Knowing that we can help makes Eleanor's and Franklin's fear advice sound better. We're the next thing after an attack of fear. If we only knew how to prevent an attack, we could be the thing before fear.
Dom Fuccillo is a retired chaplain who lives in Littleton, Colorado. Eleanor Roosevelt quote from, You Learn by Living. Westminster John Knox Press, 1960.