Fear vs. Concern

An athletic department staff member at The University of Texas tells a story about his son sharing his fears with Darrell Royal some years ago.  Apparently, the young man told Royal he was afraid of graduating and finding a job in the “real” world.  Royal apparently replied, “Never be afraid.  Be concerned.  There is a difference.”  He went on to explain, “The difference is that fear is paralyzing.  Concern brings awareness.” 

I have always thought that fear was a normal and even important part of life and in fact I still believe that.   However, Royal’s perspective is good one.  When facing challenges, we do not want to be paralyzed but concerned.  We want to be cautious and aware and responsive but not frozen in fear.  There is a place for fear.  Certainly, we should fear consequences of our actions and ramifications of our decisions.  Our laws and authorities relay to some degree on fear and that is appropriate, but when facing change or obstacles in life fear should not dictate our lives.  Caution yes, fear no.

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