Sitting in my living room on a Sunday afternoon I was indulging myself in television.
This absolute peace of nothingness was rudely disturbed by a loud yelping sound from outside. I turned to see a squirrel, sitting on the parapet of the adjoining building about 4 meters from my balcony, raising a sonic storm of its own.
When the racket didn’t stop for a good 2-3 minutes I decided to go out and investigate.
As I stepped into my balcony, within a fraction of a second, or even less… a huge eagle swooped down and carried the squirrel away.
Do squirrels have a sixth sense? Probably not… but what they have and share with most of the animal kingdom is the survival instinct. And the almost fearless approach to life.
The yelping of the squirrel was not out of fear my friends. The yelping was to alert the rest of the pack to take cover as one of them had been spotted as prey.
To understand or rather overcome fear, we must understand animals.
The herds are aware of predators in the woods they live in. They are aware of their vulnerability to become dinner at any given point of time.
In the interim, do they stop grazing? No.
Do they stop moving around in the woods? No.
Do they loose the playfulness with the young ones and teasing of the older ones? No.
Do they fear the predator hiding in the woods?
Because they are also aware that the predator will strike when it has to strike. They cannot stop it. But what they have stopped is the fear factor.
They let fear in when the predator charges. And then they run for it with all they got.
Till then, they live their life to the fullest.
Somewhere I feel the insurance industry has spoilt the human race. We try to apply the same value model in out daily lives.
And then as human complications multiply, we now see many faces of fear all focused at the wrong areas…leading to many forms of subjective unhappiness.
Here are a few examples taken from a set of close friends.
Fear of visibility – the tendency to hide even when we are not being hunted.
Fear of loss – even before we gain something, we worry about losing it.
Fear of pain – even before we are hurt, we like to imagine the pain.
Fear out of self importance – everyone out there is looking for a chance to harm me and will do so at the moment opportunity arises.
Fear of attachment – self explanatory (for those who don’t get it, please see ‘Heat’)
Fear of the peer - will they agree with and accept what I do or think? Though we only use peers to echo our prior decisions.
Fear out of lack of trust – we fear what / those we do not know. But we can never know them till we trust them.
Fear of the past – the belief that the shit will always hit the fan as it did yesterday. And when you let your yesterday decide your tomorrow, your today is always full of shit.
Fear of no fear – addiction to torment. Life would be incomplete without a lurking fear inside…
Fear of denial – even before we ask for something, we like to believe that there is good reason we shall be refused.
Fear of no returns (expectations) – the belief that the effort one puts in will always be more than the results achieved. Hence the fear revokes any hope of human efforts.
Fear of joy – a true killjoy. If it makes me happy, it’s too good to be true. And too good to last.
A dear friend, who besides being one of the best writers I know, is also the most adorable person ever. But in varying degrees of recurrence and magnitude, she embodies all of the above forms of fear. God bless her.
She can inspire M. Night Shyamalans’ next ‘spine-chilling’ flick.
It’s too scary and too cold around her. Her spine definitely resides in the range of -20 degrees centigrade… I feel sad, because she deserves to be happier.
I do not claim that fear is alien to me. I do not preach that fear is unnatural. Nor do I intend to take a high ground of fearlessness.
But what I want to say is that I do not like fear. I like my life and like to live it to the best I can. Hence I face fear head on.
To drive it away.
Let me leave you with a catch 22.
The genesis of anger is fear.
The genesis of fear is the fear of pain
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
Uncertainty is inevitable. Fear is optional.
What is better?
Existing in fear or living in joy?
Kya Darna Zaroori hai?