by Glen Fahs, PhD


Ye ha, ha, ha, ha, HA!!

Evil doers seem to find humor in others' fears. Conquering fears is a big step toward vanquishing evil and ensuring good wins out.

We grow up afraid of the dark, of the monster under the bed, the vampire, the werewolf, the growling dog down the street.

We learn from our heroes that there are many ways to vanquish a monster — Buffy has her stakes, the witch in the Wizard of Oz was melted by water, soldiers have their weapons and demons are consumed by FIRE.

As we mature, we learn routes to safety and that being ugly doesn't mean being dangerous. The friendly uncle and beautiful woman can be disturbingly cruel and manipulative so we keep a wary eye and listen to our inner warning voice.

On Halloween, we sometimes dress up as something scary and learn to have fun with what frightens. We survive the blood-curdling movies and make fun of irrational fears. We talk about our hurts and our traumas and look death threats in the face. These all prepare us to be more resilient — to avoid danger, see alternatives, and reflect on complexity.

As Pope Francis told a young girl, walk with someone so you don't feel alone. Later walk alone to build courage. Courage leads to joy and joy leads to hope.

As Viktor Frankl taught us several decades ago, a hopeful vision can give us the strength to solve problems that overwhelm others and even survive a Nazi death camp.

Appreciate your history of facing and scaring off the monsters.

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Dr. Glen Fahs is a trainer and consultant in adult education and organization development, and has been a long-time participant in the Summer Institute on Intercultural Communication held annually in Portland. Glen is the primary facilitator for the international Al Siebert Resiliency Center. He has taught at 12 colleges and universities in the fields of management, speech communication, human resources, and education. © Al Siebert Resiliency Center
PO Box 505
Portland, Oregon 97207 USA

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