Fear is a Gift

The people who embrace this idea inspire me more than any other.  Today, I think about Ryan White.  Remember him?  The little innocent boy who contracted AIDS from a blood clotting procedure and was ostracized and treated like a leper?  If you recall, he was kicked out of school, medical professionals testified in court that they would not treat him or let their own children go near him.  The reaction to him having the disease was barbarian, yet a great deal of his community, in the 1980’s, was dead serious with their reaction.

Ryan White died 20 years ago.  Thanks to him the world learned more about AIDS and HIV.  People took time to understand it.  I remember my parents being concerned, but they never shared alarmist mentalities.  They watched, they listened, they learned, and then they made sure I understood how this disease was contracted, and how to prevent it.  We followed Ryan’s story on television and in the newspapers together, and they answered questions when I had them.   Thank you, Ryan White, for helping  us, and the world, to understand.

Having fear can save your life.  The instincts of fear are important and the more we recognize them, the more we learn.  How we react to our fears can partly define us.  Do we run and hide?  Do we draw that sword?  Do we react calmly, or harshly?  Embracing it can be powerful and life changing. It’s ok to be afraid.  It’s my experience that compassion, combined with fear, equals education and progress.

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1 Comment

  1. Anissa said,

    April 29, 2010 at 8:34 am

    One of my friends in high school had gone to school with Ryan and her family moved when all the controversy began. She had lots to say on the subject! I adore your open mindedness! Your children are so fortunate to have you as their Mom! (And Karl as their Dad!)


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