The Greatest Showman has an amazing soundtrack, with eleven gut-wrenching tunes performed by voices incomparable in many ways. The shiniest gem for me is “Come Alive”, in which Hugh Jackman delivers the command that “you cannot be afraid.”
I love me some Hugh Jackman. I’ve been a huge fan of his since The Prestige. But I have to argue with him here, based on definition alone. Telling me I cannot be afraid is the same as saying I am not able to be afraid. My dear Hugh, I absolutely am able to be afraid. In fact, I’m afraid most every day.
I have normal fears, like everyone – fears of losing my loved ones, of making bad decisions with irreconcilable consequences, of being alone, of the calorie count in the doughnut I just splurged on, etc. – plus my own personal fears. The personal fears, more than anything else, are the fears that keep us from moving forward. They could be as simple as the classic fear of failure or fear of rejection, or something more complex that we may not even have the words to describe.
You will see me writing about fear a lot because it’s one of my greatest struggles. I missed out on a lot of opportunities in my life due to fear. I still do. And I’m sure that I’m not the only person in this battle.
What Hugh should have said was “you may not be afraid.” In this way, he’d be declining me permission to be afraid. Where he felt he got the authority to say such a thing is a different matter.
Then again, “you may not be afraid” could also mean “perhaps you are not afraid.”
Now, there is an interesting proposition. Stay tuned….
Let’s get the beach ball rolling: What are you afraid of?