Saturday, August 13, 2005


A simple talk on fear can easily induce fear in a fearless person. The bounds and limits of fear are not tested by many though. It appears in various forms, and in various situations, leaving a perplexing situation for the person beyond which he is not in a position to explore its limits. It can be something clearly visible or at the same time something equally abstract. In any case, it has the desired effect in inducing a disorderly mental state. Psychologists worldwide have stated mental trauma to be a major factor in creating this fear psychosis. We fear by things which we do not want to see - it may be as simple as watching a horror movie on your TV screen. The more complex of fear concerns your day to day activities in life, some of which are totally inexplainable. Fear of something is immediately termed as phobia but there is something more than these phobias that constitute our day to day life.

Let the theorists and purists pour into its causes from the technical point of view. What is the major cause of fear? This question arises from a purely practical approach. Insecurity can be attributed to be one of its chief causes. Insecurity is evident in a one year old child to a hundred year old man. Consider the situation facing the child. The mother addresses the child in no uncertain terms : If you don't complete your homework today, your teacher will whack your knuckles. The most probable thing the child does is to complete the homework, all in a mental state called as Fear. This is the most basic stage of fear induced by the mother. This translates to a periodic disturbance experienced by the child at various stages of his life - in adolescence, in youth and in old age. The whole concept of fear would have been abstract had the mother rephrased her sentence to : If you don't complete your homework today, how would you achieve things that the great scientists have come up in the last century!! This would have helped the child to face life with a more positive outlook. He would still do the homework not with fear but with inspiration and a goal in life. More often than not, it is the short term goals that are evident for achievement and the feats in the long run are not kept in mind while creating a figure in society. Growing up with a you can do it approach is totally different from a if you don't do it approach. The basic mindset of two individuals with these contrasting development strategies are totally different. In both cases, the persons concerned may be successful but the quest for achievement will have different meanings embedded in these individuals.

Fear in adolescents and teenages takes a different turn. Teenagers hate losing which ultimately is fear of losing. They want to be successful in academics, arts, sports and what not!! They are built with the message stuck in their head - I can't lose!! They are at the receiving end from all quarters - parents, teachers, friends and the community in general. They are faced with many many responsibilities - I have to appease everyone!! The fear of disappointing so many people instills an attitude in them that can head in two directions - I am going to prove it to them or I don't care what happens. In this case, fear helps a teenager move in the right direction. But at the same time, if the teenager is fearless - he faces the world with Come what may, I am going to do it!! So, there are two ways of achieving the desired result - fearfully or fearlessly. Though the end result may be the same depending on his capabilities, it is the way you achieve it that determines your confidence. Now, we are exposed to another set of the society who fall under the fearless category but in the negative sense - Come what may, I am not going to do it!! This brand of youth are a lot weaker than the fearful lot!

The twenty year olds representing today's youth are the most confused lot. The insecurity facing them starts in the final year of their study itself (whatever may be the education). Will I get a job once I leave college? Do I have to go for higher studies? When do I get settled? What do I become If I take this path? Will I be bankrupt if I start off something on my own? A whole lot of unanswerable questions hits them at lightning speed. Insecurity creeps in even to the guys with the strongest of minds. If a right kind of job is found, another set of questions are ready in his mind : Am I doing the right thing by staying here? Why am I not satisfied here? Will I ever get an onsite opportunity? Am I doing things that I don't intend to do? All these questions don't force him to quit his job. It dawns on him that it is very easy to hold on to something but requires a lot of will power to let go. At this point of time, he realises he would have been better off had he gone for higher studies. The barrage of questions though now are totally different : Am I taking a big risk in leaving a good job? Will the market be good after I complete my studies? What happens If I don't get a job then? Will she wait for me till I get settled? Some of the most important questions in his career, but are still left unanswered as only time can tell the consequences - whatever they may be!! Insecurity is the fear of the youth.

The thought of marriage is easily solved if you are able to get the person of your choice, else another Q&Q(no A) session starts off once again. The late youth(a married man), the middle aged and the old men have mainly the family life hitting their heads. Of course, other problems too surface but nothing gets top priority than family. The kind of problems faced by man in his early forties are totally different from a man in his early sixties or seventies, but then family it is all concerned with. He is now more worried about the security of his family than himself, a total contrast to the early twenties.

Thus explains the different stages of man's life and his fears. It is sometimes unnerving to ponder about the kind of path that is laid in front of us and the bottomline is we are forced to walk on the path irrespective of our likes or dislikes. We experience the fears on a different plane at different stages. A lot of doubts and queries are a result of the permutations and combinations that we do in our minds to foray into a bright future. In the end, we fear whether we would be successful or not in our bid to be a valuable asset in our ever-demanding society. Only time will tell whether our fears are confounded or not!!

No comments:

Post a Comment