The Antidote to Fear

“I don’t think loneliness is a locational thing. I think loneliness is a feeling of disconnect, of not feeling like you’re doing something worthwhile and not feeling like you’re involved in something that has purpose.”

Chris Hadfield

Two years ago I was fortunate enough to hear Chris Hadfield (@cmdr_hadfield) at the canConnectED conference in Niagara Falls. He was absolutely inspiring that day and I have followed him on Twitter ever since. He spoke this past weekend at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum for a gala event where he was presented with a well-deserved leadership award. It is serendipitous that his speaking engagement coincided with the end of IMMOOC since many topics he touched on resonate with what I have been thinking about during my reading and reflecting.

I was struck with his statement about loneliness not being locational, but rather a “disconnect” from being “involved in something that has purpose”. Becoming more connected — through Twitter, my digital lead learner group, and IMMOOC — has been the best thing I ever did for my teaching practice. Seeing new ways to do things and the possibilities that are attainable have given me a very meaningful purpose and that happened by being involved and connected.

Peter Mansbridge emceed the event and asked Hadfield about being afraid. Hadfield’s response is a lesson for everyone:

“The greatest antidote to fear is competence.”

His simple statement reminded me of how often we fear trying new things, but it also assured me that the antidote is learning. We can all overcome fear and do great things — maybe even a space walk.

Hadfield’s final remarks succinctly state why we do what we do. I have been blessed in my life, and I am able to read and learn and reflect. It is my solemn duty and privilege to give that gift to others. IMMOOC and Hadfield have helped me see that even more clearly.

“Every single one of us, once we’ve taken care of the compulsories, has an absolute obligation as a citizen of this country to try to enable as many other people as possible and I feel a great responsibility to do that.”

Frketich, Joanna. “David Bowie “got it wrong” about space says astronaut Chris Hadfield“. Oct 30, 2017.

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