Monday, 4 May 2015

Why do we fear?

We fear what we do not understand. I always believed it to be true. Most of us are scared of "unknown". Too scared to take the path because we don't know what lies ahead. We fear the uncertainty and unpredictability of life. And lastly, we fear death. So we use every possible resource at our disposal to understand the everything around us. We use science as means to provide explanations. Because we are rational beings and it goes against our reasoning to stay idly when ignorance is threat. Unfortunately, even if we try to understand , we would never be able to unveil all the mysteries of the world.

But one day I saw something astonishing. I saw a deadly snake laying across the street. No one had the courage to even cross the street but suddenly a child came running and tried to grab hold of it! It was by mere stroke of luck that the mother managed to grab hold of child and a catastrophe was averted. But it got me thinking,why wasn't that kid scared like rest of us? Was it because he was braver than us?  No, the answer was, the child was unaware of the potential danger.

People develop fear as a result of learning. I think sometimes we get scared because we are well too aware of what is to come. We fear our future not just because we don't know but because we know what may happen. We fear strangers not because we are unaware of them but because we are aware they could pose a threat to our life. It is true that we don't understand death completely, but that's not entirely why we are afraid of it. I think we know that death is the end of life as we know it, that it would take us away from our loved ones and we fear knowing that.

Knowledge could be a very powerful tool. But it has its own pros and cons. Just like time you can't undo knowledge. You can pretend to be unaware of it, but you can never put it back. But that doesn't mean we stop our pursuit of knowledge. We should learn to embrace our fears just like we embrace knowledge. After all fear is natural, fear is sometimes good, it just means we are growing and that there is something we deeply care about.

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