Sunday, May 15, 2011
Fear and it's many manifestations (#835)
I do believe that fear is passed along from generation to generation through learned cultural activities and allowed social paradigms. In other words, we do this to ourselves. We pass along myths and stories designed to scare us when we are young and it gets embedded within us as we mature. Most of us do not see how we do this but it is obvious when looked at from an outside perspective. Instead of using discipline as a neutral adjustment for behavior we instead use it as a negative reinforcement, something to fear instead of as a tool needed to improve or fix behavior. Fear is instilled in our rituals, such as Halloween, when to be scared or to scare someone else is considered appropriate. Our basis for governing, laws, are also used to scare or punish, while disregarding the inverse necessity of having laws that reward behavior and positive actions. It is as if somehow we decided that scaring ourselves is a better control of our natures, thoughts and actions. Are we so depleted as a species that we cannot see the better natures we have and reinforce those? I ask because it seems to me that our species is being wasted. We treat each other with skepticism and worse, with bigotry and bias. These are taught dynamics. When we are born we are as innocent as a clear slate. What we become from those first moments on into our lives is derived by allowed and non-allowed cultural experiences. It is difficult to break the chain of fear as it has permeated our society at every level, but that the chain must be broken and a society based upon egalitarian respect and lifelong nurture is the only real hope we, as a species, have of surviving ourselves and the unknown which is still bountiful.