“The world is like a ride at an amusement park […] the ride goes up and down and round and round; it has thrills and chills and it’s very brightly coloured and it’s very loud […] and we can change it any time we like; it’s just a choice […] between fear and love.”
– Bill Hicks
When faced with that choice, which do you pick: fear or love? I don’t mean to ask which you’d like to think you pick or which one would make you happier; I mean to ask you to be introspective and use hindsight for a moment and figure out which one you have a habit of picking. I pick fear. I don’t mean to and I don’t like myself for it, but I do pick fear.
I pick fear so absolutely that I even pick fear of love. Isn’t that ridiculous? How I feel about my ex-girlfriend terrifies me. It worried me when we were going out. It shouldn’t be like that. I should have been able to pick love and enjoy the ride. I should be able to pick love now and simply revel in the sensation that, as we all know, makes this ride fun.
I’m scared of going to New Zealand. It’s something I’ve planned to do; there are jobs out there and I have a place I can stay while I settle down and I have enough savings to move around if I need to. I should pick love and get excited about it and enjoy the experiences and plan to have fun. But it seems I have picked fear, and it seems I can only be nervous and anxious.
I never realised I was picking fear, not really. It wasn’t something I consciously did. It’s a habit. And by just knowing that there is this zero-effort choice you can make every step of the way to entirely change how you look at the world is very comforting. Pick love; there is always a way for you to pick love. Any time you feel nervous or anxious or fearful take a deep breath and spend one minute looking at your situation again, but this time consciously pick to view it all with love.
Bill Hicks points out that if we stopped picking fear we could take all the money that we spend on guns and tanks and defence—a spending habit our countries have out of nothing but fear—and we could use that money to feed and clothe and education everyone on the planet. And then we could explore space together.
So, here’s a song about it: