Fear controls our lives
Fear. There it is, an interesting concept in human relations. Have you ever considered how many words in the English language express some level of fear? There is terror, panic, anxiety, concern, apprehension, worry and more. Think of a few of your own. Fear is probably the major emotion controlling people’s lives. There is fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear of disease and death, fear of authority and many, many more.Before I get too carried away on the negative aspects of fear, I must point out that the total absence of fear is stupidity. I remember a shirt that was popular that proclaimed “No Fear” in bold letters. I haven’t seen one in a long while, so they must have been buried with their wearers. Fear is a protection, just as is pain. Neither is pleasant, but they serve a very real and useful purpose.Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Fear is an instructor of great sagacity – one thing he always teaches, that there is rottenness where he appears. He is a carrion crow, and though you see not well what he hovers for, there is death somewhere.” I believe that fear (or anxiety) is one of the major causes of every health problem from ulcers to cancer. That tightness in your gut, that sleeplessness, that migraine headache, are all precursors of some kind of health problem.Fear is also a major tool of all kinds of government and social agencies to control people and ensure their cooperation with the controller’s agenda. Saddam Hussein killed over 300,000 people to instill a spirit of cooperation with the Iraqi people. Fear of death, jail, economic deprivation, etc., have always been tools of government. Even your local police are way more prone to use fear. Guns, uniforms, flashing lights and threatening talk are all part of the system. We fear the building inspector, social services, the health department and all sorts of government agencies. Even our government schools use fear and intimidation generously.Emerson goes on to say, “That obscene bird is not there for nothing. He indicates great wrongs which must be revised.”A good way to begin dealing with our fears is to become aware of those that are destructive. We spend a lot of unnecessary time and money because we are afraid of how people will perceive us. Fear of rejection invites loneliness, pain, addictions and self-destructive behavior. We waste a lot of time and money trying to impress people. The clothes you wear, the vehicle you drive, where you live and many other decisions are greatly influenced by fear of other people’s opinions.I would do something about it, but I am scared to death of being sued. Fear causes me to spend bunches on insurance. I’m afraid you won’t like what I say. I’m afraid of losing my job. The list goes on and on.If we are to live healthy lives, we need to deal with fear. Some of the obvious answers are sedatives, or self-confidence, or reckless abandon or knowledge. The search for true peace should be a major focus, and may initially involve such painful things as forgiving and/or asking for forgiveness.Let me close with a couple of quotes from my favorite source. “A merry heart does good like a medicine.” How about this one: “Perfect love casts out fear.”Ross L. Talbott lives in New Castle.
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