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I guess my first significant confrontation with love conquering fear was in 1972 when I had to choose not to enter the United States Army on my draft day due to my opposition to the Viet Nam War. I risked the real possibility of spending five years in prison for my refusal to join the army. Fearful occasion for sure, but love, through my convictions and moral compass, made that time the path to face my fear. Love Conquers Fear is a way to weave through any adversity.

-Timmy Cunningham

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What LOVE CONQUERS FEAR means to me:

 

It’s 3 words, but encompasses so much more. It’s what we do, it’s how we live.  It’s kindness, it’s compassion, it’s tolerance, it’s patience, it’s listening, it’s teaching, it’s learning…LOVE CONQUERS FEAR allows us to experience and allows us to share.

 

And I think for a lot of us, we live it without even knowing it or defining it. When your child shares her lunch with a classmate who forgot theirs. When a neighbor’s car gets stuck in the snow and you rally with other neighbors to free the car. When you pay for the next 3 people behind you in the Tim Horton’s drivethru. These are small examples. Nothing grand scale. But multiplied daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, it becomes a powerful statement.

 

When Kevin asked if I’d like to be part of this LOVE CONQUERS FEAR project, it made perfect sense. It summarizes how I try to live my life. How I try to approach the unknown, the scary, the unfamiliar. And I think the biggest, most life changing LOVE CONQUERS FEAR experience I have is with my son, Zach....

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Artistic Freedom’s Post:

Feb 9, 2021

 

There is a little coffee shop where two people arrive and approach the counter.

 

“Five coffees please. Two for us and three hanging.” They paid, they took their two coffees and left. 

 

I asked the waiter, “what’s this about hanging coffees?”

 

“Wait and you’ll see.”

 

Some more people came in:

 

Two girls asked for a coffee each, they paid and left.

 

Three women came in and ordered seven coffees. Three coffees for them, and four hanging.

 

I was left wondering what’s the meaning of the hanging coffees. 

 

Then a man dressed in worn clothes, who looked like he might be homeless, arrives at the counter and asks, “do you have a coffee hanging?”

 

“Yes, we do, sir.”

 

They serve him a coffee and I understood.

 

People pay in advance for a coffee that will be served to whoever can’t afford a hot drink.

 

The tradition, which is said to have started in Naples, has spread throughout the world’s cities and towns. 

 

It’s also possible to order not only “hanging coffees” but also a sandwich or a full meal.

 

Small acts of kindness like this can impact so many lives in ways we could never imagine. 

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COMPASSION

 

Compassion is a mental state that is tremendously helpful (and necessary) for finding mental peace and happiness.

Realizing that other people’s actions — and our own — are more often than not a result of fear (the opposite of love) is freeing for many reasons:

If coming from another, it takes us out of the equation. Hurtful behaviors suddenly become exclusively about the other person and what they didn’t get (love), rather than about us and what we think we don’t deserve (also love).

If it's coming from ourselves, compassion can help us work through difficult emotions by removing the one thing that always blocks us: judgment. Rather than judging or shaming ourselves, we recognize that we acted out of a call for love. And in that realization, we find compassion for ourselves.

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