Everyone is Focused on Fear. Instead, Focus on Faith

Two weeks, eight weeks, and then…

We have no idea what is going to happen. We have our guesses. We have our positive and negative points of view. We have our assumptions and we have our instinct of fear. We don’t know the future. The government, the news, and our friends do not know what the future holds and that is a good thing.

I have friends and family who are not worried. I have friends and family who are. I walk the line between. Worry is only useful if you can take action to alleviate it. It is our God-given instinct to take action based on negative events that are taking place or about too. We consider these bad feelings, but they are not. They are life-saving actions used with foresight. Are they accurate, naw, but they help. Now worry easily turns to fear. Fear, fear is the worst. Fear is what happens when we feel in imminent danger. Fear doesn’t lead to smart thinking, it doesn’t care about long term effects, it doesn’t lead to a real positive outcome.

This is why we have the gift of hope. We have a God-given mind that hopes. That sees the bright side. We have a mind that can rise above the fear, the panic, and look for the best possible outcome. We do not know the future, but we know it can be good. The only problem with hope is it too can be a wrong step. Hope shouldn’t negate the action worry calls for. Hope should walk hand in hand with worry, taking small actions that will ease it and point it to the best possible outcome. Hope is looking at worry and turning it to faith.

Faith, my faith is in God. It is in a greater storyteller. It is in Jesus. But that might not be you. Can you still have faith? Yes. It doesn’t have to be in my faith. My faith is dual, I believe God will do something, and that I have to do something. Faith is an action based on belief. It is living your life as if. That as if, works like this: I believe I am responsible for everything in my life. That is the positive view. If you are responsible, you can take some kind of action. The opposite is true, if you feel someone else is responsible, you can take no action and are a victim. The faith you have is based on the story you tell yourself. That story is totally in our hands.

As we begin this time of quarantine, it is a great time to decide what story you believe. It is a great time to reflect on what life means to you. It is a great time to decide what life will look like after the chaos eases. It is a great time for you to build a faith in God and in yourself.

Be safe, take naps, and limit negative media. Read a book, there is no pop-up ads.

Later Gator.

Your Friend,

Nino.

What is Life Asking of You

Life has hard times.

For example, I have been out of toilet paper and had to wash my ass off in the shower. As a kid, me and my younger brother took cold showers together because we didn’t have hot water. As a young adult who was vegan at the time, I lived off of potatoes and ramen noodles (coffee too) it was all we could afford. When it was earlier on in my marriage my wife was pregnant, we had no food, and no car; I rode a bike an easy five miles away, got groceries and balanced four bags on each handle as I rushed home. Once I got home I went to work the swing shift, which lasted until early morning. These are not the worst or most traumatic moments in my life. They are moments I lived through. I am sure there will be more that will be painful, uncomfortable, and sad.

Now, I am a man of faith. That means I turn to God, I pray, I expect everything to go God’s way, that doesn’t mean it goes my way. I do expect some favor, but nothing ridiculous, just a little help here and there. Here is the thing, that has been running through my head this morning:

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 7:12 NIV

That do, is what has me talking to God a bit more lately. It is an active word. It is a proactive word and one that holds responsibility to the hearer.

The world is plunging into a hard time. People are getting sick and some dying from it. People are hoarding goods and gouging others for those goods and some life-saving products. Some people are being reckless with the health of others and some act as if the current situation is make-believe. Some are ignoring it and acting as if the problem will go away. The COVID-19 is a global issue, that has given every individual the responsibility to care for each other. My personal life struggles and hardships have been met with the help of family, friends, and the grace of God. In this time of human crisis, God is asking us who we are? Are we going to be instruments for good? Are we going to be pictures of greed and fear? Is life asking us to be more than self-centered consumers? Is God, life, the universe asking us to be the solution? Is this a moment we can be a voice of encouragement, a helping hand, and the reason people feel the love of God?

Later Gator.

Your Friend,

Nino.

Nothing is Normal

Normal, the way things have been. Normal, a way of living that keeps up a pattern so sustainable you could time it and know how to react to it. Normal, predictable, common, the wild that seems so spontaneous is normal, predictable, and common.

This is how humanity outgrew the wilderness, how we evolved passed huts, and how we moved from gathering in the wild to harvesting near a home. Animals have patterns and learning those patterns moved us beyond hunters, we became farmers. Our way of life is simple now, we exchange money for goods and services. We haven’t outgrown our own nature yet. But we have someone else mastering it.

Let’s play a little. We hunt for human attention.

Newspapers and magazines sold ads, then the radio came along. The radio became a new source for advertisers. Then television came and the hunt continued in a new area. The internet, oh did she break the mold. The hunting patterns from three major mass consumer-driven outlets were turned on its head. The prey had broken free of the content cage the adverts used. A new day had dawned and the mass media outlets had become less relevant to human consumption. Nooks and crooks of interests on the internet popped up until a new mass media outlet changed the game again; Youtube. It became a collection of interests and a gathering point for data on consumers and their actual interest. But this was just the beginning. It took one website to build a web that connected people and their relationships with each other and their likes to become the dominant farmer. Holding consumer attention and gathering as much data on them as possible. Yes, Facebook is the king of the mountain right now. The newest challenger to this consumer capturing giant is TikTok. It gives users the freedom from their close web of friends and family to be dumb, but that is dying as ads and heavy-hitting content creators ruin the reason the app was fun in the first place, people want attention now more than ever. The human need to be seen and heard was prevalent on all social media sights, but TikTok had filled another need; the need to play. Will this app have the same results, no. But it will have data and eyeballs to sell to advertisers, and that is a business, I little farmhouse, overlooking billions of data points on people’s new normal.

What is so normal is our ability to hunt what we want based on patterns. Even if we are hunting each other. Everything that is happening now is normal. Even the crisis is normal. We just need to have a longer view of what is happening.

Something tells me, normal is changing just a little faster today than it has in previous years, but that is also becoming normal.

Later Gator.

Your friend,

Nino.

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Oh, sorry about the headline! Everything is normal over time. I totally forgot to change it before I hit publish.