Last week, indomitable consumer advocate Erin Brockovich stopped by The Huffington Post to talk about her sobering new documentary on the global water crisis, "Last Call at the Oasis" (opening tomorrow, 5/5, in select theaters). Listening to this forthright woman speak passionately about her efforts to hold companies accountable for polluting drinking water, we wondered: Is she afraid of anything? Turns out, the answer is ... yes.
HER BIGGEST FEAR
"I think my biggest fear, now, is everything I’ve shared with you [about the water crisis]. There is some kind of serious disconnect, and I’m worried about us. And my fear is, nobody’s listening. I mean, it’s just the same thing over and over again. Now, isn’t that the definition of stupidity? It’s really frustrating for me: Somebody somewhere’s not listening. Something isn’t being heard. You know, we could be headed for a bad place. That scares me."
HER MOST PERSONAL FEAR
"I didn’t sleep for eight months when my son [Matthew] was in Afghanistan. I had a pit in my stomach every single day. My fear was … I don’t know. It was terrible. [But] before he left for Afghanistan, he said, ‘Mom, if something happens to me, you have to know that I would rather die young doing what I believe in than being old and never having done what I believed in.’"
ON "SILKWOOD" FEARMONGERS
"People ask me [about] that all the time. They're like, 'What if something happens like “Silkwood,” or you’re dead?’ I can’t think of the worst thing that’s going to happen to me. You know, I’ve done nothing wrong. I’m trying to help create awareness, to make life -- I hope -- better for all of us. [So] I don’t worry about that. I’ve been out here doing this way too long. I feel like my son sometimes: If something ever happen[s] to me, then … [it'll] happen to me. Because I’m not gonna shut up. And I’m not gonna turn around and say nothing because somebody wants me to say nothing -- especially when I know that other people’s health could be compromised from it. Think about ... the betrayal that you would feel had you worked at a place that you knew was poisoning people -- and you said nothing."
ON BEING FEARLESS
"I think that there’s part of me that’s fearless because the truth is empowering. When we know things, we still have a choice. You know, people don’t choose to be poisoned. And so I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by putting it out there. Sometimes the monkey’s on my back, and I feel better if I just rip it off. I may bleed a little, but I feel better once it’s off! So that’s why I feel fearless: It’s the truth, I’m comfortable with that, I feel that it is empowering to others, [and] it gives them a choice so that they can better protect themselves and their family."
What personal lessons have you learned about fear and being fearless? Comment below, or tweet us all about it @HealthyLiving using the hashtag #becomingfearless. You will be automatically entered into Toyota Corolla's Most Fearless Tweet Contest! (Click here for the Official Rules.)