Thursday, January 22, 2009


Sometimes I wonder how I manage to face the day in spite of all my fears.
I fear being ridiculed.
I fear failure.
I fear losing what I cherish.
I fear the prospect of bankruptcy and poverty.
I fear growing old and all the handicaps old age brings as our body deteriorates.
I have a fear of being burgled.
I fear that I might get cheated.
I constantly fear illness.
Sometimes I fear that my whole world will come crashing down around me.
Strangely enough, I've never had a fear of dying. Fear of dying is normal. Does this mean I'm not normal?
Fear of the unknown and the unexpected is the fear of my life spinning out of control.
Maybe it's just an illusion that I'm actually in control.
Maybe I'm on a roller coaster ride and I'm actually enjoying the ups and downs because knowing that each down will be followed by an up makes me think I'm in control.

No, it's not fear, what I have is anxiety.
There, I feel better already.

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Jeannie said...

But isn't anxiety fear too?

You sound pretty normal to me.

I think we need a certain amount of fear for motivation. It's when fear keeps us from performing day to day tasks that the fear has become a problem.

I thought there were studies that showed that having no stress at all was worse for us than some stress.

Lexcen said...

Jeannie, let's talk about cautious vs reckless. How about cautiously optimistic vs delusional optimism?

FJ said...

You sound like Nicias in Plato's "Laches" dialogue...

NICIAS: Why, Laches, I do not call animals or any other things which have no fear of dangers, because they are ignorant of them, courageous, but only fearless and senseless. Do you imagine that I should call little children courageous, which fear no dangers because they know none? There is a difference, to my way of thinking, between fearlessness and courage. I am of opinion that thoughtful courage is a quality possessed by very few, but that rashness and boldness, and fearlessness, which has no forethought, are very common qualities possessed by many men, many women, many children, many animals. And you, and men in general, call by the term 'courageous' actions which I call rash;—my courageous actions are wise actions.

LACHES: Behold, Socrates, how admirably, as he thinks, he dresses himself out in words, while seeking to deprive of the honour of courage those whom all the world acknowledges to be courageous.

NICIAS: Not so, Laches, but do not be alarmed; for I am quite willing to say of you and also of Lamachus, and of many other Athenians, that you are courageous and therefore wise.

LACHES: I could answer that; but I would not have you cast in my teeth that I am a haughty Aexonian.

SOCRATES: Do not answer him, Laches; I rather fancy that you are not aware of the source from which his wisdom is derived. He has got all this from my friend Damon, and Damon is always with Prodicus, who, of all the Sophists, is considered to be the best puller to pieces of words of this sort.

LACHES: Yes, Socrates; and the examination of such niceties is a much more suitable employment for a Sophist than for a great statesman whom the city chooses to preside over her.

SOCRATES: Yes, my sweet friend, but a great statesman is likely to have a great intelligence. And I think that the view which is implied in Nicias' definition of courage is worthy of examination.

FJ said...

Laches (cont.)...

SOCRATES: Well then, so far we are agreed. And now let us proceed a step, and try to arrive at a similar agreement about the fearful and the hopeful: I do not want you to be thinking one thing and myself another. Let me then tell you my own opinion, and if I am wrong you shall set me right: in my opinion the terrible and the hopeful are the things which do or do not create fear, and fear is not of the present, nor of the past, but is of future and expected evil. Do you not agree to that, Laches?

I suppose anxiety is more a fear of some future "unexpected" evil.

Lexcen said...

Ah, sophistry. If only I was skillful enough to rise to such heights.

berty said...

All it takes is a willingness to bore others to tears... ;-)

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi Lexcen. You made me laugh.

nanc said...

i fear far more for others than for myself.