Fear is what drives us

Since moving back to Blue Dolphin, I’ve had many more conversations with people than I had at Harborwalk.  Mainly, there are more people to talk with.

I find the same recurring theme in pretty much all my conversations:  fear.  I’ve probably touched on this in previous posts, but I still find it amazing how that singular emotion drives so much of our lives as humans.

We seldom see anybody who is not uneasy or afraid to live.   −Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fear of being robbed.  Fear of sickness.  Fear of poverty.  Fear of other people.  Fear of dying.  Fear of living.  Fear of pain.  Fear of running out of money.  Fear of collision at sea.  Fear of sinking.  Fear of pirates.  Fear of ________.  You fill in the blank.

Tell someone you are going to spend 14 days on the ocean and the flurry of “what if” questions begin.

Mention a 3000 mile hike in the woods and the exact same thing happens.

“What if I’m walking across the street and I’m hit by a stray bullet?”  I find myself thinking and sometimes responding.  Probably not a very diplomatic answer.  I’ve no doubt it comes off as sarcastic, but there are events for which we can have contingencies and then there are those events for which there is no amount of planning or preparing or worrying that would ever make one bit of difference.

And which of you by worrying can add a single moment to his life?   −Jesus

What ever happened to our sense of adventure?  Our sense of enthusiastic daring?  Faith?  Trust?  Have they died and been replaced by fear and worry?

I believe that a lot of fear stems from ignorance or other misperception.  As an antithesis to that, there are some fears that are purely rational and justified.  And in certain situations fear is healthy.  It is a healthy fear that hopefully gives pause to our actions and thoughts, and makes us step back and analyze them.  Or tells us to “Get the HELL out of here NOW!”

Let’s face it, being alive, not merely just living, is risky.  That said, we should not allow fear to control and dictate how our lives are to be lived.

I fear, however, that’s exactly what most of us do.

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