We are humans after all and it is all right to be afraid but afraid of things that we need to be afraid of. Why is it that most of us try to lead or chart our lives in a manner that seems value-laden but inside so many of us are hollow; we cheat at any given opportunity, would lie to cover-up a wrong-do, or malign somebody else, abuse or exploit, misuse other’s resources, and power and access, when we have them. The fear that consumes our lives is not that we may not be leading a useful and value-based life. The fear that dominates is that what we really are will come out in the open. This leads to the other corrupt attempts at buying goodwill, silence and respect.
Fear in itself it not a bad thing. It can be an important factor in determining how we can be useful and how much we can accomplish within one lifetime. In this process, mistakes can be made but if the mistakes were not linked to negative characteristics or behaviour, the true acceptance of the mistakes will not be such a big issue. However, if the mistakes were linked to hollowness of our character, it would lead to a fear of making mistakes and getting exposed. Otherwise, the mistakes will be the points in life from which we could learn and move on.
We often tend to brand ourselves as this or that type of person and the fears of losing that brand identity are so high that we end up putting all sorts of blindfolds and pressures on ourselves to appear true to that brand type. In the process we restrict ourselves from different information, experiences, knowledge that enrich life and bring growth in it. If the fear were that we may no longer be dynamic, it would push us to receive and share experiences and knowledge and help us explore lives that are harmonious and integrated with the others.
Often we undermine or ridicule others’ thinking, their way of living even when it is most harmless, and emotions because we lack a sense of security in ourselves. We may appear confident and to the others we may appear arrogant but that arrogance is often nothing more than intellectual insecurity deep down. The fear of our intellectual inadequacy getting exposed keeps us in the company of those who would indulge us and even when we are being the most obnoxious will make us feel like a messiah. Such people, perhaps, see through our insecurity, and therefore, are able to exploit it. By not accepting that we may not be the most intellectual or better than the others, we allow ego-centric growth which eventually takes away our capacity to learn and to develop relationships of selfless bonding and care because we start seeking ego gratification from every person who is in our lives or who we encounter in our lives. A fear of getting trapped in an intellectual or physical coterie, on the other hand, could help us develop genuine friendships and egalitarian relationship.
A useful life is not far from a fulfilling life. A life cannot be useful unless it is useful to the others and the others do not imply the ones who indulge our egos. A life cannot be useful unless it is open to experiences, and capable of evolving through constant learning. And a life cannot be fulfilling without being sought out by genuine emotions of the others which will come to us only if the first two factors are present. Hardly anybody reaches out with emotions to somebody who acts in a certain useful way to maintain a particular self-image.