Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The era of fear!

Why are we so afraid of everything? So many fears, so many insecurities! With so much of technology at our disposal, if we are so worried, how were our ancestors living? If we take a comparison, they should have been positively terrified!!
We have a mobile phone for every member of the family, and yet we are so worried about them - 5 minutes don't go by without us getting a phone if we are delayed somewhere! We were having dinner at a truckstop Dhaba a few days ago, and every single truck driver - there were a dozen or so - was on his mobile phone. Whether they were chatting with their families or with their agents, they were constantly chattering, and that made me wonder - what were they doing a few years ago when there were no mobile phones? They go out for months at a time, and there was hardly any contact with their family! Today, we abhor silence. We have forgotten living with ourselves - thanks to the fear epidemic!
We have security guards posted at apartments and we live in gated communities, yet we don't send the kids out for a little while to play. Are we afraid of the unknown because it is in the dark or are we afraid of it because we doubt our ability handle it? We are way more empowered than the people who lived on earth before us, and yet we are no where close to their level of relaxedness. The more we have, the lesser we sleep. There has to be something wrong there, right?
We are afraid of infections, insects, animals, atheists, technology, travelling, death, disasters, fire, freaks, and this list can go on and on. We are afraid of people in the family, of neighbours, of strangers, and of god! Where will this end? As children we are told (and quite seriously) that the darkness is our enemy and that the bogeyman will take us away if we don't do everything that is told to us. As we grow, we develop our own fortresses to keep the bogeyman out, and finally we realize that there are no exceptions! With age, we even fear our own body's inability to compete, and finally we die afraid.
Is this part of evolution too? We know that the Western world is quite afraid. They earlier turned to the East for solace. Today, China and India are more worried than the rest of the world put together! If Africa steals our livelihood, we've had it! Woolly Mammoths became wild elephants, and from there, they've turned docile enough to pick a rupee from the hands of a kid and give him a smack on the head in the form of a blessing. It is terrified of a little stick in the hands of the mahout, and is tied with a tiny piece of rope. We've gone beyond that elephant. We tie ourselves up and put the blame on the rest of the world. Everyone else is responsible for our insecurities, and everything is a Phantom.
We go out and embrace new technology, and we are more afraid for it. It is like the proverbial shoes being left outside a temple. Every possession increases our fear level, while actually they are meant to keep us safer. Ever new child entering the family, along with joy, brings in unknown fears. When we watch Discovery TV, we see that animals can sniff out fear. Actually, humans can sniff fear too. But tragically, we grow off them. We consume others' fear with glee. Strangely, that fear doesn't make us braver. The one who thrives the most on other people's insecurities is the one most afraid!
And this fear comes out in the form of Anger. No wonder everyone we look at on the street (and at home) is angry most of the time on most things. It is a fact that we are becoming more brittle and weak as generations pass. Is this nature's way of keeping us safe?

1 comment:

Subha said...

Is fear nature's way of keeping us safe??? Strange paradox if it is..But what are we really afraid of? And why the anger? Where is all of it coming from and directed at what?