I first heard this saying back in the 70s when the world was in turmoil. Vietnam was winding down, the nation was becoming more conservative, and people were weary from all the protests and riots. It didn't mean that people weren't fearful for the future. They were. Does anyone want to be ruled and dictate life by fear? A terrible way to live.
While I am concerned about what is happening, being positive can do wonders to others around us as well as ourselves. I'm thankful for a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Scripture says that there will be troubles in the world. I can pray for others. I can and do encourage whenever it is needed. Positive reinforcement goes a long to alleviating fear.
I remember the crazy 1960s with all the protests and civil disobedience. Jesus' world wasn't peaceful by any means. Jesus was a calm presence in the middle of the storm. There are many positive experiences happening every day. I focus on those things. Life may look desolate at the moment but those moments don't last forever.