Bob Van Oosterhout

We CAN Work Together
About Bob (...What about Bob?)
Anger and Impulse Control
Anxiety, Depression, PTSD
Behavioral Health Integration with Primary Care
Bring Truth to Fear: We CAN Work Together
Hard Times Cafe Model of Empowerment
Links to Videos for Online Stress Management at LCC
Managing Chronic Pain and Headaches
Mental Health
Moral Philosophy
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Practical Psychology: What Works and Makes Sense
Problem Solving - Responding Effectively to Problems
Slow Down and Lighten Up
Spiritual Writing
Stress Management
What Works
Resume/Curriculum Vitae
Comments, Suggestions, Discussion

The issues that divide us are actually selling points repeatedly driven into our consciousness by political operatives. They are abstract, simplistic solutions that distract and divert us from seeking to understand what is happening and what we can do about it.  When explored more deeply, they have little to do with actually solving the problems or responding to the opportunities most American's face day-to-day.

A series of increasingly expensive and sophisticated campaigns have used blame and suspicion to narrow our focus and close our minds.  Billions of dollars have been invested to train us to fear rather than to think, to isolate rather than include, to find fault rather than discover shared interests.  This system works very effectively to elect people friendly to the interests of those who finance these campaigns to but it is clearly not working for the health and well-being of most citizens.

It is time to rethink democracy - what it is, what it has been, and what it can be.  The people who control the system are highly unlikely to fix it because we gave them power that they don’t know how to use.  They seek power for its own sake and for the sake of the self-interest of those who finance them.  Our elected leaders do not clearly see or fully understand the needs of people in this rapidly changing world.  Their never-ending focus on how to get elected and re-elected blinds them to the severity of the problems we face and our potential to work together to solve them.

An essential and guiding principle of democracy is power to and from the people (“...of the people, by the people, for the people”).  Our current system gives power OVER the people to those who are most adept at misleading, manipulating and isolating us.  We have given responsibility to people who are not responsive to our needs and concerns.  It is time for each citizen to take responsibility for where we are going and how we get there.

Power is the ability to act.  Effective action requires clear thought and respectful discussion.  Fear and isolation block our capacity to understand issues and concerns that affect our lives and our ability to work together to effectively respond to them.  There are very real dangers and risks but also opportunities.  Politicians and the media tend to ignore opportunities and use fear to exaggerate and propagate the perils we face while pulling our minds to simplistic solutions that provide an illusion of strong action without understanding history or addressing causes or contributing factors.

The best first step is often a step backwards.  We need to step back and look at where we are, how we got here and where we really want to go.  By “we,” I mean each one of us, or at least as many of us as it takes.  We can choose to restore enough balance in our lives to give us the time to stop and think about what we can do to improve our world.  We can help each other to recognize can confront the use of fear and misleading information.  We can bypass selling points and have meaningful discussions about mutual concerns and interests among people who have been torn apart by well financed and carefully constructed political selling points.

Bring Truth to Fear is a grass roots project that was formed to develop resources that help people 1) recognize and confront the use of fear and misleading information in politics and the media; and 2) establish meaningful conversations with people with opposing interests that lead to a greater understanding of our shared concerns and what we can do to effectively address them.  

People are hungry for change.  Fast food politics cannot satisfy that hunger.  We can plant seeds of change by working together to gain a deeper understanding of the problems and opportunities we face.   Bring Truth to Fear would like your help to plant, nurture, and harvest those seeds.