Fear and the Road Forward

Fear. Short word. People are fearful for many reasons. That is a very simplified statement of life in every city, state, country, or geological region on earth.  Fear is something used to control, ravish, take, rape, or kill others just so the one perpetrating fear can get their needs met. How selfish is that? Do we even need it in our vocabulary? I doubt it, although I fear  it will be there for many more thousands of years. So let’s talk about getting rid of fear. One way of getting rid of fear is to stop being afraid that someone is going to tell your secrets. Easy enough, don’t have any. It’s called transparency in today’s political and commercial arena. “Be transparent”, “tell all”, “don’t be afraid”.  Okay, that’s a good start. How do you prevent someone from using fear when you know you aren’t physically strong enough to stop them? Like bullies at school. You could bully them back when they least expect it like hiding behind the last locker with a baseball bat. But then, that’s being them. You could call their parents with videos of their son or daughter’s behavior. That’s right, have someone videotape or record when you are getting bullied. Then also take it to the principal. Stop being afraid of being afraid. Stop allowing useless nonsense like “no grassing on others” to dictate your behavior. Bullying is wrong. Period. Those who bully others are often bullied themselves by someone, usually someone at home or close to it, and they need it to stop as well. Sometimes it’s because they want to impress their mom or dad and show them they aren’t “useless slobs” or crap like that. Sometimes people who bully others learn it from their parents without even realizing they are learning it. Business practices for example. Parents often don’t recognize how much their children hear them say, and if one is only hearing one side of a phone conversation…let’s just say it can become a one sided life with only one perspective, one point of view on who is the most important. Bullying can also be a cry for help, so if you put a stop to a bully perhaps you are actually helping him or her because they know what they are doing is wrong, but no one is listening to them because mom or dad or foster parents, or grandparents or whoever is in control doesn’t want to hear it. So, because they don’t know what else to do they just continue the behavior until it becomes a habit. A way of life. And it destroys them. And sometimes bullying behavior can just be that jumbled up feeling of anger, discontent, frustration, torment and fear caused by a large and ever increasing dose of teen age hormones. I have a suggestion as to how to handle that last one. Hard physical labor. Clean your room. Clean the garage, clean the kitchen, wash the car, rake the leaves, plant a tree, because digging holes is therapeutic. Paint the fence, or just wash it. Jog a mile or two. Stop hiding in video games perpetuating violence and do something gratuitous for someone.  If you don’t know what the word means, look it up in the dictionary. Good practice anyway. And you should read more books. Knowledge is power, bullying is shameful behavior. Problem with schools now is no one reads, no one actually does much of anything because some parent always has a problem with whatever it is.  I say use the first six years to really learn how to read, write and do basic arithmetic, including balancing a checkbook and the fine art of saving money or financing a trip to the moon, and once those skills are mastered then children are prepared for other things like anthropology, biology, taxidermy (well why not, lots of road kill), finance, market shares, banking, art, medicine, whatever they decide they want to do with their life. And the beautiful part is, they are happier humans because they get to do what they want to do instead of having some job they don’t want(grumble grumble) and having their misery contribute to  becoming unhappy and drinking too much or doing drugs, coming home and kicking the dog, or the spouse, or the kids, or shooting the neighbor with a gun they aren’t supposed to have. And perhaps, if that person checking the background had really loved their job and done it well, there wouldn’t be so many slipping past..hey? Just a thought. I do know that rage is becoming a major problem for a great number of adults as well, so I started watching and researching the news a little more thoroughly. I found that many road rage incidents are caused by men between 40 and 55 and that they didn’t really know why. Something comes over them. A bit like a teenager with raging hormones. I wondered, and wondered. Then I saw an advertisement for male testosterone, sold over the counter as a health supplement for those guys who wanted a “little more out of life?”. For those older men who are “slowing down a little?” Got me to thinking that one did.  I wondered just what the testosterone levels were in men who perpetrated road rage incidents like shooting a bus driver or throwing stones or dragging some poor man out of his car and beating him to the point of death. Does anyone know if there is any research going on out there for that? It just seems to me that guys who can’t control themselves in certain situations act just like teenagers in similar ones. And it could be said that hormone therapy for women may be contributing to the incidents of extra marital affairs. Which in turn perpetuate domestic strife and even more unhappiness for those children who have moms who aren’t there. Perhaps we should re-arrange our thinking on the matter of who is to blame in a marriage and why does it matter?  If all of this odd behavior is just down to hormones and testosterone supplied by the local pharmacy then who is to blame? The one who takes it or the one who makes it, and makes money at it, because the one who takes it thinks they need it. Good advertising sells everything but what we really need: acceptance of life stages with grace and good manners.  The real question is do we really need an over the counter health aid to make us think we are twenty again or should we just begin to accept slowing down as just another stage of life, one we should feel good about because we’ve earned the right to slow down.  Stay healthy, who cares how long it takes to walk around the block as long as you are still walking? We can all have a second career, but please, make mine more cheerful, less competitive, more cooperative and less important that I reach the top. I already got there once, don’t have to prove it twice. Stop fearing the aging process. Everyone is getting there in their own time, in their own way, unless a Road Rager decides to have a go at you before your time. No answers for that one yet, but I’m working on it. I do know that a thought by thought process when you are angry can slow time enough to keep you from going off the deep end. First, take a deep breath. Think about what you are angry about, the real reason you are angry, not the fake incident you happen to be in right now. Next thought: If I do what my “fear” is telling me to do (ie “rage”},  what will happen and will I like the ultimate outcome? What about the other guy? What does he/she really deserve for whatever stupid or idiotic thing he/she just did? Let him get away with calling me names? Next thought: Why not? I don’t ever have to see him again and he doesn’t matter much in my life anyway except for this brief, very brief, moment in time. If I shoot him or her, let’s be gender equal again, is that satisfaction enough to last me the rest of my life in prison, or compensate me for the loss of my family, home, belongings, not to mention paying attorney fees…you see where I’m going with this thought by thought thing, right? Next thought: What about the other persons family? What do they stand to lose? Closest sibling, parent, spouse, child? We cannot go around just shooting people, it’s a sign of insanity. We do not live in the wild west anymore and yet people, men mainly, although young women are running a close second, still behave as if Wyatt Earp lives just around the corner, but Billy the Kid is going to ambush him on his way to Starbucks (snicker snicker). Shades of Snidely Whiplash. Are our lives so out of control that we cannot stop ourselves from picking up a weapon and shooting it at someone? What does that say about us as human beings, as a society, as a country? We have become so full of it lately. Full of fear. Short word. Long consequences. Let’s think about the use of fear, where it belongs in our emotional deck of cards, why we use it, why we let it use us to destroy those things most precious to us, ourselves. Thought by thought, we can work it out, we can become a calmer more generous people, more forgiving, more loving, “more better” as a recent three year old friend said to me. “I thinks people can be more better.” he said, when I asked him what he thought about the way some people behave towards others. “Do it more better”. Perhaps that should be the next meme on your bumper sticker. Beats the word “fear”.

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I am older than dinosaurs, thicker than mud, but blessed with a heart that wishes to make this world a better place. I've spent my life in the pursuit of knowledge, learning along the way that people the world over are mostly quiet, home loving, family oriented and just want to be able to work and provide for their families. It is in an effort to bring solidarity in these values for people around the world that I launch this website. Join me with your suggestions, experiences, outlooks, and the sharing of your blessings. Together, word by word, thought by thought, we can bring peace to our world.

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