"The secret to happiness is freedom ... and the secret to freedom is courage." — Thucydides.

We have just passed the anniversary of the disaster in New York called 9/11. Each year those horrific events drift further into our memory and we are a little less traumatised by what happened.
What I remember most was the incredible courage shown by so many. That courage has gone on well beyond the actual events, as people put their lives back together and move forward, many living on without their loved ones.

I am amazed how capable we are of moving forward after such events. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along."

Things do come along that challenge us and test us in many ways. We always have the chance to triumph over fear. Best said by Nelson Mandela, who in his life learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. He said — "The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."

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Even here in Whanganui, when we are challenged by the behaviour of some of our residents, we must not let fear dominate our lives. We need to conquer our fears. What is our role in what happens in our community, our society? What can we do to make a difference? We can understand it when a child is afraid of the dark, we forgive them for that. But what about when we grown-ups are afraid of the light. That, Plato said "…. is the real tragedy".

My Angels tell me that most people are afraid of freedom because it involves responsibility and most of us are afraid of responsibility.
So be free of fear this week and the weeks ahead. Take responsibility and do what you can. Share your light with those around you especially those people you might find it difficult to being around, they need you the most. Arohanui.
Shirley-Joy