Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Daring Fear

Fear and audacity two more emergency passions that elicit irresistible movement in man’s sense appetites.

A fortnight ago, a physically fragile member of our extended family approached us with great emotional rigor about her strong body-shaking fears, essentially fears from bodily harm. Without anything as much as a fully-revealed justifiable reason, other than the result of a little rough physical contact two prior days ago, she expressed unmitigated fear for somebody close to her – her own husband.

But the mere initial exposure of such fear coming from such a fragile individual galvanized the rest of the family, including us the parents, into quick action to mitigate the situation. The husband was immediately called into the carpet, admonished and asked to pack his things and move out of their house, leaving wife and two kids behind for what was planned as an appropriate cooling-off period.

Not given the opportunity to air his side, the husband after some weak resistance meekly acceded, unable to go against the collective wrath of hovering siblings and parents. Reassured and justified, everybody else sighed and felt peace and serenity were temporarily restored, with the long night ending with the wife and kids lovingly escorted to their car for the one block away trip home. With fears allayed and serenity reigning, good sound sleep that night was sweet reward.

But as the intervening days would reveal the strong fears expressed by the wife were slowly unraveled to be unfounded or may have been from the get-go faked to generate compassion and sympathy. An effective ploy to drive husband out of the house and to enjoy full exclusive use and control of their nice house. For a day later, the husband was served a restraining order and a case of assault and battery to boot.

An ideal scenario fit for a screenwriter’s dream of the classic tragedy stirred and driven by vengeance and subterfuge. Having done what she did, she not only drove the husband out of the house, out of his family especially from a kid he has very deep connections with, but also, into the ground.

But that is not the main story.

The storyline is about fear.

And fear dons many caricatures in human life, too. Everybody fears death but since it seems so remote and distant, nobody really worries about that kind of fear. Or any fear that is in the future. But a fear around the corner is something else. It can easily engender body shaking and unbalanced thinking, and sleepless and listless nights, too.

Fear comes also in unrecognizable boxes. A man can fear working or is repulsed by the idea of work, or maybe even “allergic” to it. But we know that kind of fear comes in the package of laziness. We only know too well that man fears disgrace before his fellow men. If it is present disgrace, we call that fear, shame. And if for some foreseeable future, we say shamefacedness.

Now, in the man or woman who suddenly finds himself faced with formidable evil that appears with such great magnitude, his/her fear translates to amazement. Or if the danger is very sudden, imminent and unexpected, man’s fear may be expressed in stupor or paralysis, occasioned by the crippling inability to do anything. However if the dangers or misfortune perceived are petty, man’s fear may be expressed as simply anxiety.

But why does man fear and why does the idea of fear in others brings on great emotional reactions on those around the fearful person?

You see the most primal cause of fear, believe it or not, is the love for good. A man or woman may fear some person or thing because that person or thing may be threatening the good in his/her life – the good health, the good peace and calm of family life, the good safety of body and mind, etc.

Another basic cause of fear is man’s perception and/or conviction that he is unable to cope with the dangers facing him. The inability to resolve issues is a very strong motivator for fear.

Thus, feeding on fears or exploiting the emotions of fear is a much effective ploy to influence other people’s actions and emotions. Especially if the parties involved are loved family members.

The most recent example narrated above adds another notch. – on the aged timber post of life’s many great lessons.

Graphics credits here, here, and here.


  1. I fear nothing except for my family. I could care less what happens to me.

  2. I feel the same way, Phil.

    At this point in time, I would rather the hurts and fears resided with me rather than with them.

    Experience is such a good and patient teacher, making one more selfless and cognizant of things beyond.

    Hello, kindred spirit.

  3. kindred spirits indeed! i'm the dull (if not smiling) one. hard to scare me, and even if it did, it won't get noticed usually.

  4. Oh, but I fear and scare easy. Thinking about a sharp barber's razor gives me the chills.

    However, I have a firm resolve to conquer my fears when confronted with them.

  5. Good point. When people seek to intimidate me or when a situation arises that might raise my fear feelings, I get extremely angry; its my anger that is demonstrated rather than my fear.

  6. Regardless, the Greek aphorism, Know Thyself, aptly applies here and today.

    It saddens me to think that the inner self is still the vast untapped frontier that most men have neglected to explore and discern.

  7. My "inner self" is my enemy. I wrote a post over a year ago called "Enemy within."


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