I’ve been thinking a LOT lately on why people act certain ways and I’ve pretty much boiled it down to one thing – Fear.
Many people are just plain Scared – terrified even – of so many things. Somebody is going to steal something from them – somebody is going to try to beat them up – somebody is going to cut them off in traffic – somebody is going to have a belief that doesn’t match theirs (so theirs might not be right?) – even extra terrifying (apparently) is if its someone who doesn’t look or talk or dress like them.
For many people, their fear drives them to become exactly what they are most afraid of. Often in an “I’ll do it to them before they do it to me” reaction. Or in the spirit of confronting what you fear – drive fast and aggressive to confront the fear of being cut off in traffic, Carry guns all the time to confront the fear of being robbed or shot, etc.
In essence, fearful people create the environment they fear the most.
Its not like I’ve stumbled upon something new or anything :
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.” litany against fear, the Bene Gesserit, Dune, Frank Herbert
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda (Star Wars)
“the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes” FDR, 1st Inaugural Address
“Fear is not in the habit of speaking truth.” Publius Cornelius Tacitus
“Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.” Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), English logician and philosopher
“No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke
“We tell lies when we are afraid… afraid of what we don’t know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger.” Williams Tad
Below is a link to a great book to read or audio book to listen to if you prefer. One reviewer I read said, “this book truly frees one’s soul to live life without fear.”
“NDW: Yes, but it just all sounds so overwhelming.
God: You are being overwhelmed now. It’s just a question of what you choose to be overwhelmed by: present conditions, which could destroy your lives, or magnificent ideas that could re-create them.
NDW: Well, when you put it that way…
God: That is the only way to put it, because that is the way it is. Here is the question before all of humanity right now.
BY WHAT DO YOU CHOOSE TO BE OVERWHELMED?
Do you wish to be overwhelmed by something coming at you, or by something coming from you? You are right, this does all “sound overwhelming.” It is supposed to be overwhelming. With this force — the force of your ideas, the power of new beliefs — you can overwhelm all the negativity in the world.”
There are still things that I fear, but I am working on those. One of the big ones is being humiliated (thanks, jerks in school). I don’t say things or do things a lot because of that fear and I hope to change that soon.