Dawned on me last Wednesday that I finally understand a string of words that were spoken before I was born but which I have heard all my life. They are the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt from his first inaugural address. He gave the speech on March 4, 1933. It is the one with the famous line that goes “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Glass


In the context of FDR’s famous speech, here is what he said:

This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory.


Without the experience of the past few months, I’m not sure I could have grasped what Roosevelt was articulating to an earlier generation. I’ve cut way back on listening to or reading “the news” – in the conviction that most of what I have been hearing or reading is negative worldview rather than straightforward fact, negative interpretation rather than simply news. Glass

You and I have been living a “culture of fear” – in politics, business, finance, education, water-cooler conversation, you name it. We have forgotten the obvious and emphasized the negative. Glass

A fellow once told me his favorite verse in the Bible was this: “And it came to pass . . .” That’s the obvious fact we seem to have forgotten. Bad times don’t last. Nothing down here lasts for long. And that’s true of the economic chaos of the past year and a half.

It is time for you to be bold in planning for the future. It is time to push back the darkness of despair with the light of hope.

That half-empty glass of yours is half-full.

Note: I encourage you to tune in to Dave Ramsey’s “Town Hall for Hope” broadcast April 23 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

by Rubel Shelly

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