ink for thought: be afraid, be very afraid

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

be afraid, be very afraid

I'm about to say something that may prove unpopular. to be fair I'm about to contradict centuries of conventional thinking and the teachings espoused by most positive thinking gurus.

Fear is a good thing.

that's right, fear. it's fear that makes me look both ways before crossing the road. it's fear that prevents me from putting my finger in electrical sockets.  it's fear that keeps me from lighting fires in petrol stations, extinguishing said flames with my bare hands, trying to 'fly' off the roofs of tall buildings (with or without cape), and a host of other life span shortening activities.

good old fashion fear. but, and let us be clear about this...I'm not talking about the paralysing fear that causes courage to wither, halts all progress and stunts development. I'm not talking about the yellow streak of cowardice that lurks beneath the most macho displays of bravado. and I'm hoping you're not confusing this with the fear that retaliates without concern, lashes out without control, preys on the vulnerable and feeds on the weak.

what I'm talking about, the fear I hope we can all cultivate, is probably better translated as reverence. it's a word that's fallen out of favour and a concept regarded as dated in our times. websters dictionary defines reverence as "honour or respect felt or shown" and I guess my point is if we carried a little of it around for the people we meet, the work we do and the lives we live, things might be just a little different. if we were all to consider our spheres of influence, immediate and long term, the repercussions of our actions, trivial and considered, and the futures we are presently in the process of creating...maybe, just maybe we'd do things differently. 

so politicians, take a little fear with you to work, it might keep you honest. soldiers, take a little fear with you into the field, it might keep you alive. police officers, fire fighters, doctors and nurses, take a little fear with you in to the office, you might save a life. and you, teachers, writers, musicians and artists, take a little fear with you to work because you shape the days we live in. but above all, parents, take a little fear with you wherever you go, and you might just change the world.

"Fear has it's uses, cowardice has none"
~ Mahatma Ghandi

1 comment:

John Boy said...

A thoughful take on the matter.