Cover image for You have the power : choosing courage in a culture of fear
You have the power : choosing courage in a culture of fear
Lappé, Frances Moore.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, [2004]

Physical Description:
227 pages ; 19 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF575.F2 L37 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
BF575.F2 L37 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Now more than ever, it seems, our lives and the lives of our loved ones are at risk. Our normal response is to retreat. Indeed, we may linger in secure but mindnumbing careers, safe but unfulfilling relationships, just to avoid the terror of the unknown. But what if fear were not a negative force, but a positive one? What if fear could be a source of energy and strength, an invitation to plunge forward, and not a signal to retreat? This idea is the centerpiece of You Have the Power. It is not fear itself that can shut us down; it is our ideas about fear. The authors offer the radical notion that fear can actually be a precious resource we can use to create the lives we want and the world we want. Sharing their own intimate journeys with fear, as well as the experiences of others, Lappe and Perkins explore seven old, paralyzing ideas about fear and suggest that we can replace them with seven new, liberating notions. You Have the Power helps us unleash our power to walk into the unknown and create more fulfilling, authentic lives. Fear means go, not stop. Book jacket.

Author Notes

Frances Moore Lappe has written fourteen books, She is cofounder of two national organizations
Jeffrey Perkins is the creator of the groundbreaking Fear Means Go workshops and a founder of Curious Minds

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Fear comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be as personal as a trip to the dentist or as pervasive as a Department of Homeland Security-issued orange alert. It can be paralyzing and painful, debilitating and embarrassing. It can also be liberating. The authors share personal revelations, from Lappe's breast cancer diagnosis to Perkins' coming out as gay, and apply the lessons they learned about coping with fear to individuals and cultures. Exploring ways in which fear engulfs us, they acknowledge the rationalizations used to avoid actions that have the potential to make people happier, freer, and more productive, and societies more compassionate, valiant, and proactive. Whether it's based in conflict, oppression, intimidation, or isolation, fear must first be understood before it ultimately can be destroyed. In this unique and uplifting examination of an elemental human condition, the authors offer concrete methods for conquering those demons that threaten to rob us of a joyful existence and a peaceful coexistence. --Carol Haggas Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Lappe popularized what she argued was the moral imperative of eating vegetarian in her 1971 classic, Diet for a Small Planet; Perkins co-founded the nonprofit Curious Minds, which helps youth identify and work towards a future vocation. Their idealistic treatise attempts to turn the constricting presence of fear into a ?power to create the lives we want and the world we want.? According to Perkins and Lappe, fear is spread by politicians and media that encourage people to be frightened of other countries and cultures, and that magnify the danger of crime. The result, they argue, is an emotionally paralyzed population, immobilized against real global dangers. In order to take action against environmental degradation, hunger and species extinction, people must dare to act, they say, and overcome fear by leaping into the unknown with creative solutions. They cite numerous examples of those who have helped trigger change in themselves and the world by taking risks. A woman named Jane Stern, for example, faced down a lifelong phobia about illness by becoming a volunteer medical technician and helping others who were sick and dying. After reading a newspaper story about a murdered homeless Guatemalan boy, a Manhattan chef changed his life, despite initial terror, by going to Guatemala and establishing a program for inner-city children. Lappe shares the way she coped with her fears after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, while Perkins describes how he found the courage to tell his parents that he was gay. This a fine collection of engrossing and inspiring anecdotes rather than a how-to manual, by two people who obviously care about the world and its people. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Review

Challenging the "official word" that has proclaimed fear an essential attribute of patriotism, Lappe (Diet for a Small Planet; Hope's Edge) and Curious Minds workshop founder Perkins share portraits of extraordinary, ordinary people who have overcome their personal fears. The book seeks to help readers let go of limiting ideas about fear in order to realize free expression and happiness. Following concise yet powerful chapters on listening to fear as a signal, facing the void, showing up with fear, creating with conflict, seeing enemies as teachers, choosing a tribe, and multiplying courage, the authors provide additional resources, including relevant web sites, reading-group discussion questions, and suggestions on how to create courage circles. The authors thankfully eschew the limited thinking found in denominational dogma, such as Rick Warren's The Purpose-Driven Life, for a higher plane of thought usually found in Eastern philosophy, as evidenced in the writings of Pema Chodron (When Things Fall Apart; The Places That Scare You). In today's heightened sense of pending doom, readers will likely embrace this sagacious, soundly explained philosophy. Fans of Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People will also find this material of value. Highly recommended for academic libraries supporting philosophy curriculum and all public libraries.-Dale Farris, Groves, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Our Journeyp. 1
Seven Swordsmen at the Doorp. 7
1 Kathryn's Cry: On Hearing Fear as a Signalp. 27
2 Dark Matter: On Facing the Voidp. 43
3 Ninety Percent of Life: On Showing Up with Fearp. 61
4 The Fires of Creation: On Creating with Conflictp. 81
5 The Dragon's Mouth: On Enemies as Teachersp. 105
6 The Kayakers' Cove: On Choosing Our Tribep. 123
7 Women in the Rain: On Multiplying Couragep. 151
Fear, Courage, and Hopep. 171
Choosing Courage: Ideas for Discussion and Actionp. 175
Reading Group Discussion Questionsp. 177
Creating Your Own Courage Circlesp. 183
Seven Old Thoughts and Seven New Thoughts About Fearp. 189
Recommended Readingp. 191
Selected Resources for a "Hope News" Dietp. 195
Words to Emboldenp. 204
Acknowledgmentsp. 207
Endnotesp. 211
Indexp. 219