November 4


Real and Present Dangers – Ebola and Other Fears

By Froswa' Booker-Drew

by Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew

I was in Austin, Texas at a conference and usually in the mornings, I spend time in prayer and meditation. I have a variety of devotional materials that I read ranging from the spiritual to the secular. These readings serve as motivation for me to stay focused and keep perspective on what’s important.

On this particular day, I was preparing to speak when I read a text that caught my attention and was quite alarming. “You need to get your family out of Dallas and leave.” This text was from a childhood friend who was concerned about the safety of me and my family. Dallas has gone through a very tense, tiresome and frightening period as a result of the three individuals who were exposed to the Ebola virus. My friend blamed the CDC and felt that our lives were being placed in jeopardy because of inconsistent policies and failed practices. I reassured my friend that we were fine. First of all, I live in another city outside of Dallas. More importantly, I was cautious and careful but not allowing the panic and fear I saw in others immobilize me from doing the work that I needed to do.

My Facebook timeline was filled with news articles and comments laced in fear about this unknown virus. What initially was thought to be an issue for folks “over there” was now an issue that hit too close to home. People were terrified and felt ill-prepared to deal with an unseen attacker. I realized after a few text messages back and forth that my friend was dealing with his own unseen attacker. The night before, a neighborhood friend had been murdered. He was being plagued with the fear of losing someone else he knew.

All of us struggle with unknown attackers—although we can’t see them—we are aware of their by-products of damage and destruction. These attackers create fear and terror. Sometimes, the attacks come in the form of people that we don’t know. Other times, the attacks come from people that are close to us. But what happens when the attack comes from within? How do we deal with the terror that comes from our worries, our fears, or pain that come in our lives? We can create so much hysteria in our day to day lives that we lose focus and forget our strength and our value.

  • Believe in your wellness, regardless of what is going on around you or even your own temporary fears
  • You are not alone. One of my favorite quotes by Dr. Judith Jordan is “Isolation is the glue that holds oppression in place”.   Embracing community is important. My friend and I were able to provide support for one another during a time of fear and apprehension. It is important during our dark times to connect to those who can support us when we are fighting off the unseen.
  • Remember what matters most. In watching many of my colleagues adjust to this new experience of the unseen in Dallas, I had to hold tight to my faith and believe the best in me and in others. It didn’t mean that I was any less cautious but it did result in me being more aware of the value of life. There have been so many who have lost their lives to this and other illnesses, diseases and violence. I am blessed to have friends who can reach out to me in love just one more day. This is one of many gifts we receive daily. Each day, I have a choice to give love back to others in the good and not so good times knowing that it will be there for me when I need it.

Life will present worries, fears, and challenges. How do we not allow these real and present moments create paralysis preventing us from moving forward? Take the time to reflect, examine, evaluate, and remember without becoming debilitated in the process.


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About the author

Froswa Booker-Drew has built a diverse network of individuals and organizations around the world and has more than 20 years of experience in leadership development, training, nonprofit management, education, and social services. She currently is employed by an international nonprofit and participated in the documentary, “Friendly Captivity,” a film that followed a cast of seven women from Dallas to India in 2008. She is the author of the book, Rules of Engagement: Making Connections Last”. She shares her experience of building lasting personal and professional relationships with others. In this recently released book by Austin Brothers Publishing, Booker-Drew explores how many businesswomen and mothers don’t believe they have the time or energy to find and develop new relationships. “Rules of Engagement: Making Connections Last” is a workbook for women who understand the value of relating to others, both professionally and personally. For more information on the book, visit

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