Opinion: Wisdom Workout

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Welcome To The Twilight Zone

The original phrase “Twilight Zone” came from the early 1900’s. It was used to describe a distinct condition between fantasy and reality. In aviation, the term is used to describe the area between day and night at the edge of the earth’s shadow that some pilots pass through on long flights.

The more familiar use of “The Twilight Zone” was the science fiction series written by Rod Serling that first appeared in the 1950’s and aired into the mid-60’s. Its title phrase was “… a fifth dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area we call… The Twilight Zone.”

As I write this column, the presidential election is over, however, the current president has not conceded his loss. As a result, the smooth functioning of the shift in power is caught in “… a fifth dimension between light and shadow.”

The phrase: “Fighting for the Soul of America” swings both ways, depending where your loyalties lie. Where is the middle ground between “the pit of our fears and the summit of our knowledge?”

Our political, social, health, education, workplace and travel norms are in flux. We are currently faced with the imperative to explore how we individually and as a country cope with our fears of the unknown and often unknowable.

At its core, the success of “The Twilight Zone” series was because it evoked our imaginations to explore the human condition of how people cope with fear. It also took us one step further. It brought us to the realization of the price we pay for overindulging in fear.

Ultimately, the antidote to living in our current twilight zone is to face our fears. It requires us to acknowledge both our individual mental and emotional turmoil as well as the external upheaval that surrounds us. What is real? What is hype? What can we do about it? If no action is required can we let it go? Are we able to appropriately respond to what is currently on our plate? Are we wasting our precious life energy by blaming and complaining due to an antiquated habit of being victimized by circumstances?

It is ego gratifying to pretend we are invincible and the Master or Mistress of our Universe. Fear rattles the bars of our human cage. Fear of the unknown shatters our pretense that we are in control. It takes both courage and humility to strengthen our resolve to trust ourselves enough to stand up, own our reluctance to face our fears and to do our best to embrace our current reality as a conscious and capable participant.

Susan is a local author and leadership development facilitator. Find her at susanvelasquez.com.

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