Officer Eric Talley: Don’t Be Afraid

By | March 24, 2021 | 0 Comments

Officer Eric Talley, Boulder CO Police Dept, was one of the first, if not the first, to go into King’s Sooper market and confront the mass murderer. He gave up his life to save others. A clue as to why he did so is found in this photo. He hugs Father Tran of the Catholic church across from the market.

This leads to a broader question: What makes people less afraid? Less afraid to risk their lives to help others. Less afraid to join the police or military when they sense a calling. Less afraid of Covid-19. Less afraid to walk outdoors without a mask when passers-by are not near. Less afraid to speak up at work or among friends when we believe something is wrong. Less afraid to question the prevailing orthodoxy when we believe it is mistaken. Just less afraid.

If we believe that this world is all there is, life and health become all-important. Why should we risk danger to help others? We might be hurt or killed. Why should we take off our mask when walking outside alone? We might catch Covid-19 from a tree. Why should be speak out against injustice? We might be suspended from social media. But if we believe there is something beyond this world, and Someone to whom we must answer for our actions, then we may act differently.

People who are afraid don’t tend to do risky things to help others. But they do tend to do risky things that hurt others. People who are afraid tend to vote for tyrants who promise to protect them from what they fear. Consider this analysis of Germans in the Nazi era from the film “Man in the Glass Booth”: “Hitler knew what we were afraid of; he was afraid of it, too.” Fear does not lead to reasonable, helpful actions – quite the opposite.

What is the most frequent advice in the Bible? Don’t be afraid. Of course, to learn this, one must read the Bible and allow one’s self to be influenced by it. Then, like Officer Eric Talley, we can manifest this lack of fear in our actions, and become role models for others to act without fear.

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