Monday, 9 July 2007

Is Fear a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

All of us have natural fears. It is unlikely that any of us would survive even one day, without the ability to experience the emotion of fear, even in modern society, our fear keeps us alive. One of the reasons we can cross a busy main road, without being run over, is because of our ability to fear being knocked down by a vehicle. From this perspective we can understand fear as a necessary, inherited trait of our Darwinian past.

No primitive ancestor of ours, could have survived the jaws of a Saber Tooth Tiger, if they had no fear response to such predators. A car traveling at 50 miles per hour is, I guess one could say, a modern day equivalent of a 'saber tooth tiger'.

This kind of fear, that protects us from real potential danger, is of course necessary, for our survival in the every day World.

There is however, an artificial kind of fear, that is instilled in us, based not on any real danger within the World. But rather, these fears are instilled in us, based on mystical premises, that cannot be objectively defined within reality.

Children are particularly vulnerable to irrational fears, which are instilled in their minds by adults. Indeed, from a young age, all of us are bombarded with images and stories of ghosts, gremlins, devils, witches and all kinds of monsters lurking in dark corners. Of course, a good percentage of us grow out of such beliefs, but there are many adults, who still believe in ghosts, witches, devils, gremlins and monsters. Indeed, there are believe it or not, adults who believe in fairies and angels.

While we live in a society, where parents, usually unknowingly and seemingly 'innocently', instill fears in their children, then we will always live in a society that is partially entrenched in irrational fears. These fears just get passed on from one generation to the next. These fears of course, are also entrenched in the media, and get implanted in our minds in a fuzzy colidoscope of sublimation; while we are in this subjective stupour, our mental facililty to grasp reality, rots in a quagmire of mysticism.

I think it is, most definitely better to be loved than feared. It is most important that your children grow up loving and not fearing you. The best place to start, in instilling a loving relationship with your children, is in being honest about the reality in which they exist and openly telling them, there are no such things as ghosts, witches and monsters... Except of course the 'monsters' in real life; the bad people, who do monstrous things to other people.

The young child mind, is courageously involved in the mental struggle of understanding the universe, in which it finds itself. There is nothing healthy, in stultifying that mental growth, with irrational mystical beliefs, such as ghosts, witches, gremlins and monsters and indeed, perhaps the most irrational concept every erected in the mind of man, the God concept.

So the answer to the question... 'Is it better to be loved or feared?' - I would say: that a World filled with a little more love (the more the better), would naturally, be a less fearful World and a better World for all of us.

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