Sunday, June 10, 2012

How Would You Like to Define Fear?

Week 23

How Would You Like to Define Fear?


      1.   Philosopher Alfred North Whitehead said the measure of
            a civilization is the increased number of tasks it can 
            perform without thinking.

      2.   For my part, I’m on record for saying truly superior
            executives are so good they don’t know it.

      3.   Have you noticed that the more you talk about doing
            something, the less likely it is that you will ever do it?

      4.   There are times, though, plenty of them, when the heat’s
            on and everybody knows it.

      5.   That’s when even the expert is scared, make no

      6.   Even though she comes through it, seemingly without
            effort, we see the act itself—courage in isolation—is what

      7.   That is not for the newcomer, no matter how talented; it
            comes, even if she be young, from night-sleeping in the


The night video shows
the fear and courage
seeped clear through the
sophisticated maneuvering
of fliers being guided,
landing their planes
in a rough sea.
Swells abrupt and high
from an angry host
can send the massive carrier
bobbing like a match stick
just as an aircraft with its pilot—
skilled as a old weaver—
makes its final approach.
Tense faces chewing gum,
compensatory laughter
and wondering eyes
make up the pinpoint soul
of the navigation quarters.
Cheers erupt when the
safe landing occurs, perhaps
after an aborted attempt
or two, to avoid
crashing into the ship
in a fierce upswing.
The pilot descends
to friends below,
takes of his headgear,
big smile—astounding to
me—his baby face,
holds up a hand, shaking,
says, still smiling,
“most scared I’ve
ever been in my life.”

© 2012 Allan Cox, Allan Cox & Associates Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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