Excerpts from “The Right Fight: How to Live a Loving Life” by John Kennedy Vaughan
My Father Taught Me: Respect the Threat; But Do Not Fear -- so I am passing this on from him to me, to my children; to you and to your children…
“I don’t know much about medicine or viruses, but I do know about fear. I spent more than 15 years battling fear, and seven years writing a book about love and fear, ‘The Right Fight: How To Live A Loving Life.’
“Throughout the years, I’ve learned a lot about faith, and that my faith equips me to win out over fear in any situation.
“For half of my life, I was a ski jumper. In practice and competitions, the speeds and jump heights threatened injuries, paralysis and worse. But, in competition, fear became its own paralysis and its own danger within me.
“I can never forget the important lesson my father taught me: that I must not fear the ski-jump ramp, but I must respect it. He told me that fearing the ramp is just as likely to get me hurt or killed as not respecting it.
“The same with this virus. We must respect it, but not fear it. Respecting it means we must prepare and approach the ramp with care and confidence. As we face this pandemic and the threat it brings to health and livelihood, it’s critical that we act in love—not fear--to do all we can to protect our families, others and ourselves.
“This crisis calls for us to be driven, not by fear, but by authentic, selfless love. What is selfless love? It’s so important during this time to recognize what love is and what love is not. Love is the opposite of fear. It is considering the well-being of others over our own interests. The Bible tells us that perfect love is never fear-driven. Perfect love drives out fear. Love is sound-minded.
“When we feel afraid, we should always pause and ask why, then seek the truth. Is the threat real or only what we perceive as threatening to us? If it’s real, then we should consider what we can reasonably do to address the threat. Daily, health officials are lining out for us how to address this threat. After doing all we can, we trust God.
“I have learned to never ever act on fear and to never fight it. Both are a trap laid to destroy me. I have learned to act on the truth in love and I will be as safe as I can possibly be.
“It’s why we do what we do that reveals our hearts. If we reasonably stock up to protect our family and take measures to see that others have what they need, we are acting in love. If we stock up to get ours, without regard for others, we are showing fear and selfishness. If we insist on taking chances with our own health, mindlessly seeking crowds and comforts, risking exposure for ourselves and others—that’s selfish. It’s angry rebellion, and anger is a form of fear.
“…God’s plan for our lives, for our community and for our country is much bigger than the coronavirus. His blessings can be found in every situation, and He doesn’t want us to allow fear to make those blessings invisible to us. I believe there is opportunity, during this uncertain time, for love to grow stronger in our lives, in our hearts, in our families and communities. With more time at home and with family, we can strengthen our relationships by acting in love; or tear them down by reacting in fear, because health and livelihood are threatened and many of our conveniences have been stripped away. Instead, let’s find ways to encourage others, especially those healthcare workers and first responders risking their health to keep us safe.
[This country] “has been through a lot .… During those [hard] times, I have seen, in this … country, people stepping out to courageously help others.”
America, America’s Dads: “It's that time again.”