The Fear In Your Heart Is Making You An Asshole.
A few weeks ago, I wrote little piece called “Brave”. It was about my daughter learning about courage and how to have to learn to face your fears in order to find it.
Ever the Star Wars enthusiast, she is fascinated by how the fear in Anakins heart is able to change him so much. It consumes him so much that he does things that hurt others. He lets his fear of losing the things he loves be stronger than the love itself. And once the fear overpowers the love….well, you’re fucked.
And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that we let fear affect us so much in our everyday lives.
We let fear of failure prevent us from reaching our full potential. We let fear talk us out of setting and reaching our goals. We let fear talk us out of trying anything new.
I think children project their fears onto things like being afraid of the dark. Which is really just fear of the unknown. Kids are afraid of change and evolution sometimes, and when the lights go off they can’t guarantee that everything is the same as it was when the lights were on. They can’t see if there is something unknown (monsters) around a dark corner. And of course, they aren’t able to articulate that, so they are just plain afraid of the dark.
I also think that many kids turn their fear and insecurities of being alone or others not liking them into bullying behaviour. Bullying, in my opinion, is insecurity in heightened form. The “I’ll reject them before they reject me” mentality.
And maybe, just maybe, if I as a parent can nuture self confidence and recognize these behaviours as the fears they are, I can prevent my child from projecting their insecurities onto another child.
And then maybe, I can prevent them from manifesting in their adult life too.
Because if you remember, Anakin didn’t turn into Darth Vader until he was an adult. With adult fears and adult love and adult responsibilities.
And I’m not saying that every grown up is gonna go all full Sith and raise an army (unless you’re that fat crazy fuck running North Korea, but that’s a whole other post) but we certainly allow it to rule our lives in other ways.
Grown ups can be bullies too. I see it happen all the time. People become afraid of losing what they have, so they project that onto others. They become afraid of their own shortcomings or failures and look to blame it on someone else. They put unreasonable expectations on others in order to prove to themselves that they really are in control after all.
And it is such utter bullshit that it makes my heart pound and my head spin. Failure isn’t anything to be afraid of. Not learning from failure is the scary part.
But still we are afraid. And instead of learning to be brave we abuse the people around us and try to make them afraid. As if spreading our own fear will lessen the amount we already own. It doesn’t work that way.
Fear just breads fear. Which breads hate. Which breads assholery of all kind and bullies and Darth Vader.
So please. Would y’all just nut up?