FDR’s Freedom of Fear
In President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first inaugural address he taught us: “The only thing to fear is fear itself.”
Extreme fear — caused by the coronavirus as our constant companion — should gives us pause to reflect on the possible loss of our freedoms.
Our present, frightening time reminded me of FDR’s’ Four Freedoms in his 1941 State of the Union address.
FDR said: “In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.
“The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world.
“The second is freedom of every person to worship god in his own way — everywhere in the world.
“The third is freedom from want — everywhere in the world.
“The fourth is freedom from fear — everywhere in the world.
“That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation,” Roosevelt said.
The same can be said for our time. Moreover, FDR proclaimed: “Those, who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
To safeguard our freedom during these perilous times we must face the future confidently — as FDR educated us — knowing we have faced grave danger in the past and prevailed.
We should look to FDR’s sound direction to conquer fear as our guide. After all FDR steered us through the Great Depression and won World War II.
The harm we face is we might falter in our freedom from fear in such a complete way that we lose our ability and confidence to act rational. We must not let fear occupy us and diminish our safety and freedom.