Friday, March 18, 2011


Fear is what bosses use to get their workers to perform better. Do the job or risk getting fired. Do the job faster or we will find someone who can. Fear is what teachers use to get students to perform better. Study hard and get good grades or you risk failing. It becomes that the student knows the answer but might not understand the answer, they fail anyway. We use fear on our pets. We beat them if they get out, if they pee on the floor, if they bite. It is the fear of getting beaten that gets them to behave. They don’t understand, they work hard to avoid the punishment. Fear can cause the worker to rage against his family, cause a student to drop out or cause the pet to bite.

Fear, to me, is one of the most devastating emotions to have. I feel that many time fear is not used constructively. Instead, the emotion of fear is what carries them, what drives them, what motivates them, what cripples them. Today many are going to be watching and waiting to hear the news: are we being poisoned with radiation floating over the Pacific Ocean from Japan?

Many have been rushing to stores fearful of this poisoning, looking for a supplement to reduce the risk of getting cancer. I have seen the fear in their eyes when told, “I am sorry we don’t have that, and we are unsure when the next shipment will arrive.” I have seen the fear.

Once a group of people I am very close to decided to be prepared for a natural or manmade disaster. They considered how much water and food would be necessary for them, their families and others. They searched their shared communal property, looking for the right place to set up a storage unit to house all their survival staples. It turned out this unit would have to be quite large, there was no free space on the property to house such a large storage unit.

So the question to the group: what would happen if 10 people showed up looking for assistance? But maybe the harder question was: what would happen if hundreds of people happened onto their doorstep looking for food or water? Would they be willing to share? Day one, probably. Day 10, less likely.

My concern is fear can turn into self survival. Fear can turn into anger. Anger becomes so great it turns into rage and hatred. Hatred is ugly, what are we willing to do to survive?

Maybe at this time it would be a good time to check our hearts. Maybe this is a time to determine if it is fear that is driving us or is it something else.

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