Fear and Hope

Fear is a trouble maker.

Hope is a hero’s journey.

I recently had the honor of interviewing Fear. I arrived at her manor and her mother greeted me at the door. I was warned in advance that Fear was not very talkative when it comes to interviews. I was also warned in advance that she would be working during this interview.

When I laid my eyes on Fear for the first time, I was taken aback by her identical twin sister, Hope. I knew in advance that they were twins, but wow! They were truly identical. Their hair, smile, nose, fingernails, skin tone – you name it, they were identical!

Both girls were working, Fear and Hope, writing fiction about the future. As I sat there asking my questions with mom’s oversight, a thought came to mind: “Does mom love Hope more so than Fear?” I dared not ask in front of the twins but I wondered if I would be brave enough to ask such a question when mom escorted me to the door in just a bit.

Both girls handed me their works of fiction. The look on their faces was no longer identical. I could see Fear’s facial expression of anxiety. She was afraid that we were going to get in trouble. Her fiction always ends the same way – in trouble. I wrote in the margin of my notes: “Trouble Maker.” On the other hand, Hope had a dreamy look when she handed me her fiction. “I’m always the survivor, the thriver, the hero!” I wrote in the margin of my notes: “Hero’s journey.” I think I wrote “journey” because I noticed how Fear’s fiction creates a sensation of immediate doom, whereas Hope’s fiction seems to say, “hang in there, this ends well but way out in the future.”

I thanked them both for their time as they continued writing fiction. Now was my chance. Mom was walking me to the door. Should I ask her if she loves Hope more than Fear? Would I be brave enough to ask such a question? What would Fear say? What would Hope say? As I stood at the door, I remembered the scene from some sitcom where a detective would always start to walk away and then turn back and say, “One more question.” It was always the most important question. So I did it. It came out of my mouth: “One more question. Do you love Hope more than Fear?” As usual with me, I supposed trouble. My fiction had mom yelling at me for asking such a question and disposing of me at the door, reminding me that I was a terrible person for even suggesting such a thing. But to my surprise, she did not. She answered as though she had answered this question before. She said, “I love them both equally. So do you. They are both perfect manifestations of God. Fear keeps you out of trouble. Hope inspires you to keep going. You only think Fear is bad because her fiction makes your body uncomfortable. Keep in mind that both my daughters are professional fiction writers. It’s their thing. Fiction. Both use historical info to make their works believable, but as you witnessed when they handed you their works of fiction, it was just that.

I thanked her for answering such an obnoxious question. Once again, she surprised me by saying, ‘Do you mind if I ask you a question?’ ‘Please do,’ I replied. ‘Do you think it will make a difference, your readers knowing that Fear and Hope are identical twins?’ I immediately answered ‘Yes.’ When readers read, a seed is planted in their minds. Fear tells me that the seed will not make it – it will never see the light of day. On the other hand, Hope tells me that the seed will grow into a majestic tree with roots so firm that it can endure the greatest of storms and provide shade to all in its vicinity.

Author: John Rector

John Rector, a former IBM Executive and Co-Founder of E2open, holds ownership in several companies, actively participates in the daily operations of a few, and dedicates his expertise to aiding individuals and businesses in harnessing AI for business and life enhancement. His ventures are testament to his strong commitment towards employing AI in spurring innovation and ensuring a competitive edge across diverse industries.

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