April 14, 2015

391 words 2 mins read

How to Know You're Doing the Right Thing

“What if everything goes wrong?”

I remember asking myself that on the morning of Friday, February 27, 2009.

I was driving on I-44 headed to the Arch to host a Tea Party. My co-hosts were people I’d never met: Dana Loesch, Gina Loudon, Ed Martin, Michelle Moore. Those were the three to offered to help. Others offered to speak: Jim Lembke, Shamed Dogan, and a few others. Others helped organize sign-making, food, sign-in sheets, and music.

I’d never met any of them before that day. They’d never met me.

Of the people who responded to the Facebook event page, I knew exactly two. I’d gone to high school with them. The rest were strangers.

Among the hundreds of strangers could be crazies bent on destruction. Or hard-core leftists bent on destroying us. A bunch of neo-Nazis could show up and taint us all. Someone could get hurt. Many could get hurt. I could get arrested.  Or, God forbid, someone might hand a megaphone to Roy Blunt.

A thousand things could go wrong. In fact, the chance of pulling off a major public, political event as a first-time activist was extremely small. People were angry and frustrated, and I called them together for a meeting before God and press.

Whatever went wrong would be on me.

The fear seized me as I passed Kingshighway. I was getting close to downtown. No turning back. My son, Patrick, was in the passenger’s seat asking questions, but I couldn’t fathom what his words meant. “Hmm?” I’d ask.

“Nothing,” he’d say.

You know how I knew I was doing the right thing? The fear. Everything of value involves conquering fear. If you approach an activity without fear, it’s an activity of little value to the world.

Eric Greitens writes of this odd brain signal in his book Resilience:

Such fears are entirely natural and healthy, and you should recognize them as proof that you’ve chosen work worth doing . Every worthy challenge will inspire some fear.

From Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life

When people say they’re afraid of Eric Greitens, smile. They should be. Eric Greitens' election is a worthy challenge, and worthy challenges always stoke up some good, healthy fear.

Here’s why Eric Greitens reminds me of Aslan from Narnia.

Note: Updated. An earlier version missed a crucial few sentences. My apologies.