What are we really afraid of?

Community Columnist

— I awoke last night with a scream and the sweats. I tried to face my fears and recollect my nightmare, to no avail.

Was it the economy and would my children have it tougher than me?

Was it the state of the union and our current collection of presidential hopefuls?

Was it the movie I’d seen about the year 2012?

Was it the little squiggly thing the doctor had seen under the microscope?

Or was it that triple chocolate mint fondue caramel candy drop with Lemonheads and smoked almonds bowl of ice cream I swallowed just before bed?

President Roosevelt once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

I believe that.

I’m not afraid of terrorists nor public speaking. Ghosts don’t give me goosebumps and horror flicks don’t make my hair stand up. Lions, tigers and bears are butterflies. Pain and torture can be alleviated with a simple mind trick.

I am aphobic to the nth degree, and yet, I sweat.

So what am I afraid of?

Fear of the unknown is always an answer, but an incorrect one. We call it the unknown, but really, we have no way of knowing.

We are actually afraid of that thing we have some sort of idea about, but without certainty.

We fear the terrorist not because of the unknown but because of all the possibilities we’ve already imagined.

We fear dark alleys and the future and death, not because of what we don’t know, but because of the range of horrors within the realm of our calculations.

In actuality, we cannot predict the future entirely or know what death brings, if anything.

So why be afraid?

As far as the dark alleys go, I suggest you either bring a flashlight or take the long way home, not out of fear, but logic.

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