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Don’t Feel Afraid of Anything
contributed by
Zadok Lamar

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Next to my bedridden grandmother with whom I lived, situated right by her head and in obvious view, there hung a poem in a frame dating from the early 1900s. Its antiquated, gold-leafed, and cursive writing was beautifully set off by the yellowed parchment-style paper and faded, fragile and detailed wooden frame.

This poem always reminds me of the thoroughly encouraging woman who taught me everything from spelling to spirituality, just as she did serving as a teacher in an early 20th century one-room schoolhouse in West Virginia.

In few words, it still speaks ever unraveling volumes to me with each day …

Don’t feel afraid of anything,
Through life just freely roam;
The world belongs to all of us,
So make yourself at home.

This simple poem, whose author I do not know, inspires me to keep the world in view. It was also the initial sign to my wife to trust love when we first met. From where she stood in life then, the words seemed a completely foreign world view. I am thankful to have known my grandmother, to have lived with this belief all my life and to have found my wife through it. Now, it also resides near our bed and in our mutual heart. I pass this saying along, that it may also bring new perspectives to others as well.

The most profoundly succinct and inspirational gift grandmother gave me, however, was a sky blue marble. Around its gold equator are the words, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”. I hang on to that, too.

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