The Living Fear

“We are turning into a nation of whimpering slaves to Fear—fear of war, fear of poverty, fear of random terrorism, fear of getting down-sized or fired because of the plunging economy, fear of getting evicted for bad debts or suddenly getting locked up in a military detention camp on vague charges of being a Terrorist sympathizer.” – HST

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson said that back in 2003, when our nation was still frothing at the mouth for revenge, in whatever form we could find it, for what happened on 9/11.  But even now, after our hotheads cooled off a bit (and only a bit), I still think what Hunter said rings true today and in every conceivable tomorrow.

More than ever, we find ourselves mentally crippled and speechless from fear.  What’s so troubling about fear, no matter how it’s initially provoked, is how certainly unnecessary it is.  No matter what the cause—whether it be fear of getting the big, ugly axe at work, fear of getting rejected, fear of loneliness, or even fear of the dark— there always seems to be something right around the corner, ready to take you away from yourself.

It’s hard or, in my case, impossible to really grip the answer to why we, as humans, fear.  It could be because we’re afraid of change, maybe it’s because we’re afraid of pain, or probably it’s both.  I’m sure there’s a scientific explanation for this mess, but I’m not interested in how it all began, I want to know where it ends because, to me, fear is a far worse problem than we think.

Fear is very effective.  And like I said earlier, we fear because we’re afraid of change and it’s how we stay out of harm’s way, but without change and pain, where would we be?  Both are important parts of life, completely essential in what separates you from, say, you’re next door neighbor.  And while pain is NEVER something you should intentionally look for, think about the last worthwhile story you heard where nothing bad happened to anyone?  Save your strength because there isn’t one.

Of course, I’m not telling everyone to go out and be completely unafraid—that’s impossible, or at least pretty close to it.  Just make sure that fear isn’t making you play it too safe and keeping you from being interesting.  And, I know, I may not be the best person to take advice from on the subject, but then again I might be because I’m most likely just like you.

I’m still afraid, but you shouldn’t be either.


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