Defeating defeatism

One evening I watched a number of aspiring actors and actresses give impromptu performances without any scripts. When the director called out a word such as fear, doubt, defeat, freedom, triumph, they portrayed the emotion or feeling. The portrayals were so persuasive that I was tempted to feel sad or jubilant according to the emotion conveyed. Finally I had to remind myself that they were only acting, that the feelings portrayed were not real.

How often in the human scene have we been assailed by fear, doubt, and discouragement? Maybe we have been enveloped by a defeated sense of being with no apparent solution. These depressing states of thought that would engulf us seem very real. How important it is to see them in the same light in which I finally saw the portrayals on stage. Just as the latter were not real feelings, fear, doubt, and discouragement are no real part of man.

After Peniel
July 4, 1983

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