This writer believes so much of the pain we suffer is self-inflicted, with a little outside nudge.

Before you blow a gasket or some other body part, attempt to listen with an open mind. Even though neither listening nor open-mindedness are attributes humans readily possess, give it a try.

Let us begin with our young.

We are constantly gaining new information about the time a baby is in the womb. For example, some parents attempt to begin the teaching process by talking or singing to the child every day. Despite the external stimuli, during most of its womb occupancy, the child is in a dark space. For nine months, the nascent lifeform evolves and grows, collecting information on a cellular and perhaps even molecular level. Perhaps the external stimuli may even affect the child’s personality.

Some believe the expectant mother’s emotional and physical state during pregnancy may affect the baby. For example, after a busy day around five or six, mothers often bustle around the kitchen preparing the evening meal.

After birth, some of the experiences the child had in the womb may manifest in its behavior. Babies often become fussy around dinnertime. Did the mother’s regularly scheduled anxiety-attack to get dinner on the table by a certain time affect the baby?

Some children fear the dark. They believe monsters reside under their beds or in closets. In other words, they fear the unknown brought to life and enhanced by their imaginations. Parents try using night lights in the child’s room to minimize the darkness, but those pesky shadows remain. Can we trace a fear of the dark, and other fears accumulated over a lifetime back to those nine months in the womb?

We would have to interview a child after the moment of birth. The interviewer faces the prospect of communicating with a sentient but untutored in a known language being. To our knowledge, no universal translator exists to help with such a communication problem. Therefore, crying, cooing, and scrunched up eyes is all the reporter can expect. Oddly enough, except for the cooing, adults interviewed display similar responses.

Most of us outgrow our fear of the dark, but not the unknown, which is a form of darkness. Throughout history, atrocities occurred because of fear and ignorance. If a woman had a knack for healing the sick, some sanctimonious troglodyte proclaimed her a witch. The fearful mob egged on by those who stood to benefit, burned her.

Unleashing a mob is a powerful tool in the hands of a fear monger.

There is an element of fear when we forge a relationship. Fear of rejection. Fear of being hurt. Fear prevents us from reaching out to others and ending the loneliness of being trapped in the capsules we call bodies.

Fear of differences. What we consider the norm causes people to lash out either verbally or physically. A bully fears to lose his or her power over a group. Some of them may view the bully with timid respect out of fear not love.

We fear losing face in our personal and professional lives. Consequently, we do not take risks to better our lives (finances) and relationships. Imagine if Thomas Edison stuffed his ego in a trash bag and worked with instead of against Nikola Tesla. The “War of Currents” the two genius nerds waged was such a waste of energy (pun intended).

Reading James Carroll’s “House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power” enumerates historically missed opportunities for possible peace. Those who fanned the flames of fear because of their fears and inadequacies perpetuated the safety of governing by encouraging fear.

Those with power foster fear among the sheeple to control them. Whenever humans congregate, the potential for rule through fear exists. After all, fearmongering happened countless times throughout history, and it continues. Fear of heresies. Fear of religions. Fear of the unknown is a powerful tool.

As much as this lady wants to meet extraterrestrials, the image of frightened villagers carrying pitchforks to destroy the strangers comes to mind. She fears the unabashed ignorance of the sheeple.

 

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