In May, 2010, I wrote a brief article entitled “Fear as an opponent.” Carina Reinhard responded with a brilliant illustration of what fear can cause in a man’s behavior. You may find both in the Forum section of my website, aikidoacademyusa.com.
In assessing what we as Americans, and all of us as citizens of this planet earth, are truly facing at this time of unprecedented uncertainty, as well as from economic, sociological and religious turmoil, much of the cause, as well as the source of viable solutions may be found in the same comprehensive, though complex answer.
Fear is an elemental component of our DNA, being responsible for the so called “fight or flight” reaction that resides in us all, as well as in many other higher level animals. Nature provides us with many resources with which to compete, to survive and to ultimately thrive in our respective environments. I do recognize the phenomenon of fear, along with its historic role in mankind’s evolution, as a significant, but little understood or appreciated factor in the quality of our existence, and in the direction of our continued growth of being mutually progressive on environmental issues, and as a species interacting responsibly with one another.
The Japanese word for fear is “kyofu”, and the state of being afraid is “osoreru”. All cultures recognize that being fearful, being afraid, and being paralyzed by those “things” we fear, are seemingly unavoidable facts of life. Kind words of consolation, or courageous exhortations for bravery, may well prove inadequate when it comes to dealing effectively with those things we truly fear, that we do not yet fully understand.