Prudence, Not Fear

Prudence, Not Fear


I couldn’t tell you when I learned the word “prudence.” It probably showed up in some of the Victorian novels I read when I was a teenager, but it never made it into my vocabulary.


Can you remember ever learning the word?


On the other hand, I am quite certain I learned “fear,” to be “frightened,” and “afraid” at a very young age. I also learned how to use it, when to use it, and what it felt like.


Why does it matter now?


For several years now the Guides have been distinguishing between prudence and fear. It was quite a revelation for me to be instructed in the difference; one can “be prudent without being fearful,” they say. It is something I have done and do all the time, but without language for it. Before leaving my home for a long hike under the hot Hong Kong sun, I take a water bottle, wear a hat, and put on sunscreen. I am not fearful of the sun, I simply make a prudent decision - to protect myself from what could be damaging rays. Before crossing the street, I look both ways. Again, prudence at play.



Living in Hong Kong, the culture quite suddenly and easily transitioned to “mask-wearing” as soon as Covid-19 was on the scene. Collectively, the move was one far more of prudence than of fear. The city had lived through SARS, knew the dangers of a spreading virus, and knew that mask wearing and hand-washing were an immediate approach to dealing with it - as basic as putting on sunscreen on a hot day. Prudence was at work. Still, no one was using the word. Nor are they.


And that is my point for writing this particular blog. As I said, it was quite a revelation to be taught Prudence versus Fear by the Guides. Having language for something, in this case, has made quite a lot of difference for me. I realize that as we lift in frequency to the frequency of Love, we are leaving the realm of Fear behind. This does not mean that we are leaving Prudence behind. I can be in the Upper Room and still choose to wear sunscreen out of prudence. I can still teach a young child to avoid touching a hot stove and call it prudence. I don’t have to instill fear in someone about anything; instead I can teach prudence.


I have overtly begun to use this word “prudence” in my teaching, in my own life, and in my self-talk. What a difference it makes. For example, when my oldest son would head into the city for a day alone, I would say, “Be prudent. Be sure your phone is on so I can call you and check that you are okay.” I could distinguish that such a request was not coming from fear for him as much as a realization that this is a prudent thing to do on my part as a parent responsible for a teenager.


The Guides have now told us that humanity has chosen to lift above the vibration of fear. This is incredibly exciting. I can’t wait to experience this collectively. Surely, in some ways I already am experiencing this. But I also recognize that there are many people in my own life - in our own lives - who have not had the exposure to the teachings of the Guides. What we witness now in our daily lives can feel disorienting, strange, even scary. Let’s help those around us have language beyond “fear” to describe where our decisions come from. Let’s begin using “prudence” in our vernacular. Let’s find a new way to explain why we choose to wear sunscreen or wash our hands or wait for a light to change before crossing the street on a busy road. Let’s be prudent.


Word, I am Word through my prudence.

Word, I am Word.


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