Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Boundless Craze of Fear

Tuesdays with Jesse

The Boundless Craze of ‘Fear’

As one of humans’ compelled constituent since the beginning of time, fear has governed mankind throughout the globe; keeping our lives constraint under many circumstances. But what is fear? How does it initiate in one’s life? And could it be overcome? It has been one of life’s mysteries of how we became bound to fear and became somewhat a part of a lifestyle as life proceeds.

Fear is an emotional response of panic or distress to impending danger as well as expectation of pain. Acrophobia (fear of heights), claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces), arachnophobia (fear of spiders) and necrophobia (fear of death) are widespread types of fear with one of the highest rates among humans; though there are still some with uniquely peculiar fears. (The word “-phobia” comes from the Greek root word of ‘phobos’ which means fear).

Although fear is considered to be an instinctive response for each individual, objects of fear can be learned through one’s own judgment. Though there are many sources of how fear initiates in our own lives, one of the very most common one is that it is acquired through a traumatic accident. This will then leave consecutive instances of the accident in regards to sensing a similar situation.

According to Wikipedia, “In instances of fear, one may go through various emotional changes as well as its behavior. A good example would be a cornered rat, which will typically run away until it is finally cornered by its predator. Then will change its behavior becoming belligerent and fights back with heavy aggression until it either escapes or captured. Similar to animals, humans also can become very intimidated by fear, causing them to go along with another’s wishes without caring about their own input. This is followed by behavioral changes as to become equally violent, or might as well become deadly; it is an instinctive reaction caused by rising adrenaline levels rather than a consciously thought out decision.” This may result in the perception that it is being threatened. This technique is used by swimming coaches in Australia, to release crocodiles in spite of desiring his or her students to swim as swift as possible.

The effects of fear can be extreme up to the point where one could absolutely isolate them from society or from the objects itself. This traumatic situation would usually never be overcome and has become a lifestyle for them. Those who fear confined spaces might spend their lifetime never entering an elevator, and takes escalators or stairs as alternatives to achieve satisfaction in thinking they are safe.

Proverbs 1:7 writes: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. This is an act of submission and obedience that fearing a higher being is the basis of being wise. This is because a higher being such as God has power over you, just as the example of the rat being cornered by the predator; (in which case, this time the predator is known to be a compassionate being).

Uniquely, statistics show that there are more people who fear spiders than the do fear death (though both cases are common fears). From a personal point of view, one must fear death. Again to emphasize, one ought to fear death. Why you may ask? What if we have a mindset which consciously tells us that dying means coming before God without any more dilatory, or simply, just do not fear death because we know there would be everlasting life? As I think about it to myself, the fear of death means that we value the life given to us. Not fearing death means we are not valuing the life, the only life, the opportunity given to us by God.

Conclusively, the factor of fear is unique, broad and limitless. Fear is a common thing and would very much differ in each individual. There is nothing wrong in having a unique fear; there are cases where one ends up with hydrophobia (fear of water) or sesquipedalophobia (fear of long words) or even bibliophobia (fear of books). Nonetheless, it is possible to overcome fear, especially those that are childhood traumatic accidents (for it was a minor acceptance of judgment). The only thing required is to have the courage to overcome it. With the mindset “if others can do it, then why can’t I” is one of the most effective way of thinking towards overcoming something. This is because others are able to do it successfully without pain or panic that makes the one feared gain the knowledge that it is safe.

“Do not be afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.” – Henry James

“One should fear death. If one is not afraid of dying then it is not valuing being alive.” – Jesse Lybianto

1 comment:

Valentine in Black September said...

As always so philosophical and so well done...