Fear Do all living things fear something? Those with minds surely have many and various fears, but even the simplest organisms must have fear, for fear is such a powerful feeling. Fear is all around us and is felt in every corner of the earth. Fear is the emotion or feeling that a living creature gets when its physical or mental life is interrupted by a change that causes the creature concern. We humans especially, fear many different things: death, disease, old age, commitment, noises in the night, pain, responsibility, work, being too fat or too thin, or any number of other things.
Some of our fears are reasonable and rationale, like the fear for our safety so we lock our doors at night, never walk alone on dark streets, and turn on lots of lights to keep the boogie man away. We fear for our health so we diet, exercise, and eat only healthy foods. Our fears can also help us make wise decisions: where to live, what to do with our money, how to raise our children, even what kind of car to drive and whether or not to drive it. Our fears may be sudden like when your kid brother jumps out behind you and yells 'boo'. People's fears can be built up over a long period of time, for example, during the cold war millions of people thought that at any moment they would be attacked by the Russians, so they built bomb shelters because of that fear. Some of our fears come straight from our imagination.
They may appear irrational or silly to others but fear, real or imagined, is still fear. Change goes hand in hand with fear, for change is the cause of all fear. Even positive change can leave one in fear: the first day of school, a new job, moving day, a wedding, the birth of a child. Change, the process of all growth and life, is greeted generally with a feeling of fear. Fears seem to sneak up on us, drenching us in sweat sending our heart rate rocketing, leaving us quaking and shivering. Some fears we see coming and our body and mind prepare to fight or flee.
We understand those kinds of fears and can use rational thinking, stress reduction, and plan our actions to combat those fears. Various things help reduce our sense of helplessness, which is a common emotion experienced with fear. One of the things we fear the most is the loss of or lack of control. Even if we really don't have control, we like to think we do, and when we lose that sense of control, fear rushes in. For example, an alcoholic will say ' I can quit any time; I'm in control.' The fear comes when he realizes for the first time that he is an alcoholic and that he is not in control. We all fear uncertainty and the unknown.
We arm ourselves against it with candles in the dark, or faith against the uncertainty of death. Then, when we think we " ve conquered our fear, it comes invading our minds again, let in by a smell or a taste, a sound or a thought Fear is always there, just waiting right under the surface, to awaken those memories which frighten us the most. Fear can come anytime in the silence of the night or in the bright glare of the day. Fear cannot be conquered.
We can, however, learn to acknowledge it, respect it, and live with it. Fear makes one think of those who in the face of fear stand courageous and yet still face their fears. Courage becomes the means to see and feel the fear and still go on knowing you are afraid. I used to be afraid of many things; I still would like to run away from many of my fears but, I've learned to examine my fears and live with them the best that I can. I have a nightlight in the bathroom so I can see if I wake.
I wear my seat belt for protection, and sometimes I look in my closet before I go to bed. It's the larger planet-wide fears that we collectively hold our breathes for, of war, of starvation, of toxic pollutants, of disease and other events. We fear for the uncertainty of our loved ones or the loss of a loved one, an ancient fear yet new to every generation. Still we acknowledge these fears, try to cope with them and just as every age of man has done, we continue on. Fear will always be with us in virtually everything we do. We must have courage to embrace these unknown fears and not be consumed by them.
The future is ahead of us. We must face ourselves, our lives, and our fears boldly.