Every person, everywhere, with no exceptions has experienced fear. Fear, to be afraid, has hit us all, whether it was fear of failing, or fear for your own personal safety. Fear is what keeps us on our alert edge. It kept you from jumping off the high dive when you were a child for fear you would get injured, and it kept you up late studying for fear of failing. It is the realization of consequences in the immediate or distant future. There are many forms of fear and we benefit from all of them.
It never makes you do anything you do not want to do, and gets the consequences going through your head. Fear of failure in our classroom makes us work harder, and fear of dying on the beaches of Normandy made soldiers run that much faster. Fear is what keeps us on our toes. I know it changed my life tremendously on one occasion, and saved my life on another. Fear of failing English 1301 has me glued too my chair when all of my friends are mountain biking. At the age of seventeen, I was more concerned about having a good time then worrying about school.
The result of this of course, was my dropping out of school. It took me only one day to realize what I had done. What was a seventeen-year-old drop out going to do I sank into a major depression when I realized the severity of what I had done was. The first concern for my future arose, and the fear of it. I was on a nowhere road with no exits unless I did something drastic to change myself. One week later, fear of failure had me on a plane with a destination of Fort Benning, Georgia.
It had driven me to enlist in the Army. Fear for my own personal safety saved my life one windy day in the Mojave Desert. My squad was sent to desert warfare school in Fort Irwin. The Battalion Commander decided it would be necessary to in ser my team by means of parachute for reconnaissance on enemy movement. When the time came for me to jump out of the C-130 Hercules, I yelled, Rangers Lead the Way! and started my descent. I counted to three and only felt a small jerk.
I looked up and saw the parachute had been fused closed. Without thinking I immediately pulled my reserve and pushed out its risers, only for it rocket up and wrap around my main, which stopped it from being completely, deployed. My natural reaction was to look down, the ground screamed toward me at an incredible rate, I did not want to die, and the fear of death shot throughout me. It was this fear that took over and started throwing off weight. I cut off my rucksack, my weapon, and my low bearing vest, then it steered me the best it could into a patch of bushes below me that turned out to be a tree.
It took me two days to finally remember what I had done because I had done it so fast and without thinking. With the help of fear I cheated death that day, and only suffered two dislocated kneecaps, a twisted back, twisted neck, and broken sternum. Fear is not just an emotion, it is a tool as well. Dog owners use it when they post their Beware of Dog signs to ward off any thieves. In Desert Storm the Allied Forces dropped millions of flyers over Iraqi positions telling them how to surrender to the technologically advanced army that was approaching them. Needless to say, this method of widespread fear caused panic, resulting in success and saving thousands of lives.
During the dark ages, churches were not made to be peaceful looking in appearance, but rather intimidating. Churches had gargoyles on all sides of them, showing people what would come for them if they deified Christianity. Using it as a tool such as in this case kept people fearful of Gods wrath. Fear, although annoying at times, is an emotion and a tool that helps us all. It helps us in decision-making and generally steers us in the right direction. Most people do despise this emotion, and will not attempt anything or take any chance voluntarily that would provoke this emotion.
What is not realized is that this is another one of the many emotions that make us human, and experiencing them makes us who we are. It plays a major role in our everyday lives.