To "Fear" or not to "Fear"

It’s been raining cats and dogs in Bangkok for the past week and this morning was no exception. It’s gotten me into a somewhat philosophical mood. Somehow the cool weather and cool airconditioning is good for just curling up on a couch with a good book or a good movie to watch. It’s also very relaxing and peaceful.

Bangkok sounds quiet. Somehow the rain drowns out all the sounds, or perhaps people just temporarily put their activities on hold. There is definitely no construction when its raining. Few people walk the roads. Few motorcycles rush by. All I hear is water swooshing around.

My philosophical me got thinking about the word “Fear.”

Everyone experiences “fear” now and then. It just depends to what degree. When faced with a lion rushing towards us with it’s mouth wide open, we undoubtedly feel a lot of “fear.” We “fear” for our lives. We “fear” danger.

Yet there is also another kind of “fear” that stops a lot of us from achieving or doing what we want to in life. A simple example goes like this: a young teenager spots a girl he likes. He wants to approach her and talk to her, but somehow he “fears” the outcome. He doesn’t know what she will answer. Perhaps she’d brush him aside, and tell him never to talk to her again. Or perhaps, she’d give him a big smile, talk, and become good friends.

You never know the outcome unless you try.

It’s this “fear” of the unknown that can stop us from doing many things we want to in life.

Some people are, of course, more risk averse than others. Some may fear traveling on their own, for fear of getting lost, but then they’d never get to feel the freedom and joy one gets from exploring a city on one’s own.

Some may fear trying out a new experience like eating fried worms or boiled silk caterpillars, but then they’d never get to know how they taste.

Some may “fear” starting new relationships, for fear they might not work out. So we put off that which we don’t know the outcome. If we never start, then we’d never get to suffer. We’d never have to be in a failed relationship. We’d remain forever happy as we are. Alone.

However, because of our “fear” we won’t also ever get to feel the joy of having someone who cares for you and looks out for you by their side.

On the other hand, some “fear” ending bad relationships, because then they’d have to move on. They’ve gotten used to the bad relationship. It’s something they can count on. At least there is someone there for them. However, then they’d never get a chance of having a better relationship and a happier life.

There are countless examples.

The funny thing though, is once you overcome all your “fears” and finally do the things you previously “feared,” oftentimes the outcome isn’t really that bad.

Talking to that cute girl wasn’t so hard. She turned out to be friendly. Traveling alone turned out to be quite fun and enjoyable. The fried worms and boiled silk caterpillar are really quite tasty and delicious. Ending a bad relationship and being in a good one is so much more rewarding and fulfilling.

Therefore the “Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself” as said by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932.

If we can overcome our fears, then life will be so much more fun and rewarding. 🙂 Fear not! For life is short and you only got one chance at it!

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