I’ve been feeling an increasingly higher level of anxiety as the 2020 election approaches. I sense I’m not alone.

On the one hand, I believe that a fair election will result in Joe Biden and Kamala Harris becoming President and Vice President and more Democrats becoming House and Senate members signaling the beginning of the end of our national nightmare.

On the other hand, I know that Trump and his Republican sycophants will do everything they can to steal this election from the American people.

Thirty years ago I began collecting quotations from Jewish and world literature on a wide variety of themes. This past week I looked at what I collected specifically on the themes of “anxiety,” “fear,” and “despair.” Here are a few statements that offered a measure of wisdom, perspective, and hope:

 “The world is a very narrow bridge; the important thing is not to be afraid.” —Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (Ukraine, 1772-1810)

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” —President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’” —Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” —Epictetus (1st-2nd Century AD Greek Stoic philosopher)

“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” —Charles Spurgeon (19th century English Baptist Preacher)

“Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.” —Walter Anderson (20th century American painter and writer)

“You cannot always control what goes on outside, but you can always control what goes on inside.” —Wayne Dyer (20th-21st century American author and motivational speaker)

“Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.” —President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

“Life is ten percent what you experience and ninety percent how you respond to it.” —Dorothy M. Neddermeyer (20th-21st century psychotherapist)

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson (American essayist and philosopher, 1803-1882)

“Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.” —The Dalai Lama (1935- )

“Present fears are less than horrible imaginings.” —William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

“There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature.” —Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

 “What else does anxiety about the future bring you but sorrow upon sorrow?” —Thomas á Kempis (14th-15th century Dutch-German author)

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” —Reinhold Niebuhr (American theologian and ethicist, 1892-1971)

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” —Lao Tzu (6th century BCE Chinese philosopher)

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” —Maya Angelou (American poet and civil rights activist, 1928-2014)

 “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” —Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

“If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl, but by all means, keep moving.” —Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

“America must not become a nation of onlookers. America must not remain silent. Not merely black America, but all of America. It must speak up and act … for the sake of the image, the idea and the aspiration of America itself…When I was the rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin under the Hitler regime, I learned … under those tragic circumstances that bigotry and hatred is not the most urgent problem. The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful, and the most tragic problem is silence.” —Rabbi Joachim Prinz (German-American Rabbi, 1902-1988; words he spoke on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, 1963 March on Washington)

“It’s forbidden to despair… Remember: Things can go from the very worst to the very best…in just the blink of an eye.” —Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (Ukraine, 1772-1810)

“If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” —Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

 “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fail.” —Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

“Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.” —Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

“Get in good trouble, necessary trouble…Do not get lost in a sea of despair.” —Congressman John Lewis (1940-2020)