After two days of thinking about this from a lot of specific angles, I came to the realisation that taking the big picture and paraphrasing FDR is probably the best way to go.
The problem is emotion. No, really. Ankh Infinitus wrote an editorial which knee jerks you before telling you what he just did.
Emotion has a purpose. To react to immediate stimuli. That said, the purpose of fear is to prepare the body for fight or flight. So, if it’s being used legitimately, you don’t have time to think before acting. For example, if you’re being chased by a bear, or being chased by Hitler, or being chased by Hitler in a bear costume.
However, in today’s society, this is a minority of fearful circumstances. The vast majority are by politicians or representatives of corporations who scare you into submission. If someone tells you, for example, that giving transgender people their rights would allow men in the women’s restroom, instead of freaking out, think about it first. Because, if you do, your first realisation is that that is a huge stretch they made with no basis in reality. Your second will be, “So, what if it does? That’s not really a problem.”
If someone is telling you something that scares you, far more often than not you have time to think about what they said. Even research it. This isn’t a film from Hollywood where there is, “no time to talk about it! Let’s go! I’ll tell you about the murderous robot on the way!” This is reality.
I’m going to give you a secret that governments and corporations don’t want you to know. This piece of knowledge is exactly why I always win when they fight with me. They are just as scared of you as you are of them. It’s actually a game of chicken. If you’re right and you keep going at them head on, they will ultimately back down. This is why I never heard back from AT&T after I dared them to sue me. They want to scare you off the pot so you fold rather than calling their top pair because, for all they know, you’ve got the full house. Even if you only have two pair, you should play like you have the full house. Poker analogies FTW.
They use fear to manipulate you because it’s the only weapon they have. They are scared of you, so they have to make you scared of them to get you to back down. This is why the only thing you have to fear is fear itself. Fear is the one thing that is keeping you from holding your governments and corporations accountable for their actions. Fear is the framework of your complacency.
I used to be scared of them too. But, they didn’t know it. I played hardball and they buckled. After so many wins, I’m no longer scared. I’m just baffled that they keep getting into it with me when they never win. Some morons don’t learn.
So, I understand that you’re scared, but bravery is not lack of fear. Bravery is doing what you have to do despite (or perhaps in spite of) the fear you feel. Stand up to your governments and corporations and don’t back down until you get what you deserve. (Not what you feel entitled to. There is a difference.)