Fear: the Real Dictator

(Yep another post about fear).

Fear.

“Be afraid, America!”

“Never travel!”

“STRANGER DANGER!”

Just the other day I was walking home after work and saw a car in a person’s driveway with it’s dome light on. Even though it was 10pm, I went up to the house (their lights were still on) and rang the bell. I heard the girl from the inside say “I’m not going to answer it! It’s 10pm. Surely it’s an axe-murderer.”

(“Lady… You wouldn’t be that lucky in Fitchburg, WI”, I thought.)

I yelled into the door and explained that her car-dome light was on- to which she came barreling out of the house to turn it off and thank me for not being an axe-murder.

….heh. No thanks for saving her car battery. Whatevs.

I recently posted on the book-face that the OFAC doesn’t allow money withdrawals in the Balkans. One of my amazon-worrier friends said:

I’d be more concerned about landmines, especially in the former Soviet Baltic states.” (Grammy had the same worry when I went to Vietnam- which ended up being my 2nd favorite country, btw).

What has our world come to? I’ll tell you! One based on fear. Xenophobia. And it eats us from the inside and makes everyone more terrible.

Remember my last blog post on House-sitting? I was talking to my 90-yr old (she corrected me… she’s not 91- yet) Grammy yesterday and she asked “How do you find these house-sits?”

“On the internet, Grammy”

“Really?! And they just give their house to you?”

“Yea.”

“But, how do they know you won’t burn their house down? Or financially ruin them?”

“Why would I do that, Grammy?”

“Well, Honey, YOU wouldn’t- but some other wacko out there could!”

“Grammy…. How many people have you known in your life?”

“Oh, Honey. Lots. I’m very old, you know.”

“Take a stab… would you say 100?”

“More than that.”

“Out of those 100 people, how many are bad people?”

“None. But that’s different!”

“Ok- let’s spread this out to acquaintances. People that you see at the volunteer shelter or Boskovs or Superfresh?”

“Well, sometimes you get nuts. Sometimes you get dumb people.”

“But are any of them evil?”

“I don’t think so. Ok. I see your point.”


What good does it do for people to be afraid? What do you gain by being this way?

GAIN: 
-More anxiety/depression… but the truck loads.
-More time at home… afraid of leaving the house.
-higher stress
-Less than healthy sleeping habits
-More consumption of booze/pills/other substances prescribed by universal standards.

LOSE:
-Sense of community
-New friends
-Adventures that this blog is written about!
-Companionship
-Empathy skills
-Learning new ways of dealing with stress

So- here’s my challenge to you: Go talk to a stranger today. Really talk to them. Listen to them. Have them tell you answers to hard questions!

  • When was the last time you were in love?
  • Tell me about the worst day of your life?
  • Were you bullied in school? About what?
  • Your biggest accomplishment in life!
  • Do you believe in ‘God’? Why or why not?

I’m serious. GO! then come back and comment and tell me how it went. :)

Because, for me, I’m very much under the impression that 99% of all people want to do good. That the world isn’t full of “wackos”. It’s, instead, full of awesome people that I have yet to discover! People that want to help each other. And– call me naive- but I feel better believing in good rather than fearing the unknown.

 

(spoiler: there will be a podcast about this soon.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.