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OPINION Merlin Nichols: no fear

Ursus horribilis: no concerns for safety or habitat.
'Merlin Nichols' courtesy of AI

On a several-day back-packing excursion into the mountains of Monkman Park, a magnificently unspoiled remnant of God’s Creation, with my son-in-law and two of his teenage offspring, we were quite enjoying the serenity of our lives.

Trekking where few humans are inclined to venture, it was obvious that we were in bear country. Grizzly bear country. Taking normal precautions, we proceeded at the pace set by the old man, the youth showing due respect for his maturity.


All the while we called out to the ursine inhabitants of the wilderness that we were merely passing through with no intention of taking up permanent residence in their pristine habitat.

We’d eat only a few of their delicious huckleberries, drink imperceptible drafts of their sparkling water, and carry out everything we brought in.

We also carried our own fire.

Ursus horribilis, you should have no concerns for safety or habitat.

In other words, no fear.

But for our own safety?

Did we have fear?

Let’s say we carried a certain realization that we were in bear country.

Granted, if one of those denizens of the mountains decided to exercise tooth and claw on our flesh, we would be at her or his mercy or, more accurately, lack thereof.

So, on we hiked, step by step deep into one of the few wilderness areas left within our great North-East.

He might have seen us before we saw him, a magnificent specimen of bear beauty, and intelligence, worthy of our mutual Creator.

The breeze ruffled his long coat of light brown.

At fifty or sixty meters his black eyes bored into the intruders, counting them, assessing their presence in his front yard.

We did the only sensible thing open to us.

We quietly stood and watched.

He quietly stood and watched.

After the longest ten or fifteen seconds in our lives, Bear took three enormous jumps to his right and disappeared on an errand known only to him.

It would be a lie to suggest that we felt no fear. Fear is a normal response in situations of potential danger, injury, or death. But such fear can be managed with no long-term negative effects on body or mind. Not so with the fear that is being ramped up again in the media.

As if we didn’t have enough last time, once again the media is hyping the hazards of the new scariant of COVID and various “authorities” are ensuring that we hear about it.

The new “vaccine” is being prepared to invade the bodies of those who will comply with any new mandates that are foisted on us, and our governments are promoting the shot for our common good for those six months and older.


Really, indeed.

But there are other scares: climate change is high on the list of favorites to strike terror into those who can be terrorized.

Looming food shortages and empty market shelves, related, of course to climate change or to supply chain disruptions caused by COVID.

The housing crisis. Canada needs 3.5 million new units by the end of the decade. That’s scary because under present economic and supply conditions it just won’t happen.

And not a day goes by without some media host or commentator attempting to elevate the fear factor. Fear is well understood as a means to population control. And control is what our governments want. The PM openly, unashamedly, acknowledged his deep admiration for the “basic dictatorship of the Chinese Communist Party” and he has clearly followed through with his fantasy, ramping up the fear at every opportunity to ensure he maintains the control he craves.

The tragedy of our country is that we have let him do it and even facilitated his hubristic ambitions by our willing complicity.

Oh Canada, for shame! It is time to say “No” in language that we, ourselves, can understand. If we convince ourselves, it really doesn’t matter if the authorities comprehend.

Enough of us saying “No” to their fear-mongering madness and it is the authorities who will have to bend the knee.

What is the difference between our very natural fear response to Bear and the fear fostered by aspiring dictatorships?

It is very different.

The fear of Bear was temporary, passing, and subject to action on our part. We acted by standing quietly and waiting for Bear to make his move – while we fingered our spray controls, essentially useless if Bear got serious about ridding his habitat of human intruders.

The fear desired by our political masters cannot be managed or lessened. It becomes chronic. If we succumb to fear, it could become something that we live with until our minds and bodies suffer irreparable damage.

And still, it does not end.

In Scripture the command, “fear not” is used 70 times in the context of “don’t be afraid of what is going to happen to you.”

In our context, don’t be afraid of COVID or of climate change, the two big, authoritative, and popular clubs at this time, should be the moto that governs our response to all attempts to control our lives.

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