Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fears That Consume Our Lives

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.

It is also futile to indulge too much in gratifying the self because of the fear that tomorrow could be the end of the lifetime. This leads to a mad rush to please the senses by indulging in meaningless adventures, thoughtless attempts to conquer the nature, and do all the ‘Dos’ without knowing that really makes a life worthwhile or pleasurable. If the fears were to be that the life is unpredictable we lack the knowledge and resources to make it worthwhile for ourselves and the others, whether it is short or long, it may lead us to a lifestyle that makes us capable of intellectual and emotional growth in the present and encourages us to lead a sustainable lifestyle that would keep that growth on track in the future.

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.

We also fear change though we are under a constant change. We feel that that we can cope with the changed circumstances or meet self-needs or of the others without making a change in the way we think or live. We cling to what we are used to, no matter how harmful to the self or the others, superficial or useless that may be, and fail to evolve. Change then becomes a burden. Instead, if we were fearful of not being honest about our changed circumstances, we would try to do something about that by making a valid and effective change in the life.

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.

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The 6th of the February: A Day of Zero Tolerance


International Day of
Zero Tolerance of FGM

The proprietors of passion
Wage a war to conquer lust
Open in an understanding
The source of unquenchable bodily wants
The culprit is somewhere outside
Someone who instigated desire

They say:
Using a force unravelled
She imposed a desire on renunciators
She the subject of ‘animal’ instincts
Lacking in the nuances of control
Enabled violence against herself

They claim:
She fashioned herself as the object of regulation

And so
The war goes on against her body. 

Watch a video on FGM. Help End it! 

The 6th of the February is the International Day of
Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Watch the UNFPA-UNICEF Video
FGM is practiced by the elders using crude tools like blades, knives and pieces of glass as well as by some professional doctors and nurses using professional tools. Up to 140 million women and girls are affected by it Nearly three million girls are mutilated each year. Women and girls from both rich and poor families are either forced to go through it or convinced to go through it because otherwise they would not be regarded as a respectable woman/girl and would not be entitled to their basic rights like the right to inherit property. FGM is a heinous crime. Stop it!

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