Fear vs Fearless
By Bernadette A. Moyer
Children are fearless! I watched a little boy about 5 years old run through our house yesterday. He had never been here before; he jumped on my bed and ran downstairs through the basement. The entire house was new to him and yet he ventured from room to room completely fearless. He was not afraid.
In 1989 I was single and dating. A male friend came by for a drink. My daughter was sleeping she was just nine years old. The only bathroom in my tiny two bedroom house was upstairs where she slept. When he had to use the bathroom I waited outside. During these years I learned not to trust any men around my child. In a way I had lost my innocence and my ability to trust. It only took one bad experience and one person to change me. But I was forever changed.
It only takes one bad situation for us to become fearful. We can fear people and places and things that are unknown to us. Women learn to be weary of dark corners and traveling alone. We learn that we can easily become the target of assault and rape.
The Catholic Church, The Boy Scouts, schools and most places that deal with children and youth operate on the “Buddy” system. Children are treated differently now that we are aware of the amounts of abuses that can and have occurred with children being the target. We have become afraid. We are afraid of what might happen and what could happen because of what did happen with child abuse.
Our society teaches us to be cautious in dealing with new people and people that are different from us. Our country has been assaulted by terrorists both locally and internationally. We used to be more trusting and somehow we have lost that trust to those that use terror to control us.
In the 1980’s I was in my twenties and frequently traveled an airline called, People’s Express. It was a budget airline and you literally paid your fare once in flight. There was none of this security and full identification required as there is today. We didn’t know of nor did we fear terrorism back then. We were unafraid and we were fearless.
Today we fear getting on an airplane not just because of a possible accident but because we learned through tragedy that people can use an aircraft just like a bomb.
A child comes into this world dependent and fearless; they are filled with trust and with wonder. Life has a way of taking that innocence and scaring them into becoming fearful. But what is fear? How much is good for us and how much fear stops us from being all that we can be?
It has been said that “The only thing to fear is fear itself.” President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
One of the most powerful statements we can tell ourselves is, I am not afraid!
There is something so innocent and fresh about being fearless and having confidence to forge ahead unafraid. We can fear most anything and anyone. Just like we can be fearless in anything and with anyone …
Bernadette on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer