Is Fear a Byproduct Of Our Culture?

Our culture breeds fear.  Our culture is so wrapped up in what might kill us that we are constantly telling each other that we must be afraid.  Afraid of the Republicans or the Democrats, afraid of terrorists, afraid of economical problems, afraid that we may catch some disease and die.  Look at any news website or in social media and see what people are talking about.

Sure, you’ll rarely see a news article that directly tells you to be afraid.  Fear is a byproduct.  It’s something that happens when you constantly hear how awful things are.

The last few years of my grandma’s life were spent sitting in her apartment watching cable news.  When my grandpa passed away she withdrew.  Here is a woman who lived through the Great Depression and World War II.  She was stronger than this.  Her and my grandpa worked hard their whole lives to be able to enjoy themselves when the work was done.  They taught me not only to work hard but to play hard and enjoy every moment of life.  So from 2003 to 2012 when she passed away, it was hard to watch her sit around and become more fearful of the world.

“Corbin, KY!  Remember that!”, she would often tell members of our family.  That was where we were supposed to meet in case of a national disaster.  I always wondered why Corbin, KY.  Maybe because most of my family lives in Michigan and I’m in Florida?  Maybe it was because there was a Sonny’s BBQ (her favorite restaurant) and the original KFC (another favorite of her’s)?

The sad fact is that she spent nine years worrying about something that would never happen.  Another sad fact is that there are millions of us who are captivated by what we see on TV or read in papers, magazines and online that we become fearful as well.  I remember a few years ago reading an online forum where people were discussing ways to keep their kids from getting the H1N1 flu.  They all seemed so crazy talking about how millions of people were going to die and how would they be the ones to survive?  H1N1 came and went and we barely think about it anymore.

Someday we’re all going to die.  Not many of us know how or when.

This week I decided to stop paying as much attention to politics as I do.  Politics for me is like college football for other people.  I wave my little flag and cheer for my favorite “players”.  But politicians spread fear to push their agendas.  Politics divides us as a society.  I’ve lost friends because of politics.  It’s time for me to step aside and not worry so much about politicians and politics.  I know some people will say that’s UnAmerican.  I’m ok if you think that.  I don’t agree but I can’t fight over such things anymore.  It’s causing me to lost my humanity.

I’m going to spend more time reading and when I start running again next week I’m going to be outside more.  I want to experience life and build relationships instead of focusing my attention on horrible things.

Be well. Be positive.

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