Paralysing Fear


Once – long ago – my oldest son asked me a question.  He was only a toddler – ‘Mommy what’s a stranger?‘.  It hit me like a rock and nearly knocked the breath from me.  It was all wrong.  I was instilling a fear inside my children that could cause future problems including their ability to think for themselves.  I instead chose a different route.  It was simple and direct in a way a child might understand.  Some would look upon my advice in horror.  I realized a stranger is only someone you haven’t met yet.  All strangers will not hurt you – and it might not be a stranger at all that would hurt my little boy and especially it might never happen.  I chose to put that fear inside me instead, and keep the fear of ‘what if – possibly…’ from my child. I chose to let him be an individual.

As life moves further forward I see fear taking over everyone’s life – and that fear is paralysing our children’s ability to think or reason for ourselves. Now there is fear of – what you eat, how you play, what risks you take (children are very bold beings) and everything they are taught will only increase that fear.  It’s not always parents (as is the popular belief) – it is society and rules and regulations placed by our governments and teachers. ‘Don’t climb that tree, don’t fight, tattle,  no, you can’t go around the corner to play with your friend, no, you can’t have sugar, I don’t care how upset you are – you can’t sit in the front – you must sit in the back in your car-seat and one of the worst – the police will throw you in jail… (reality – the police will only help a child) and using a lacking reasoning – a child screaming/crying is a real honest to goodness distraction from my driving abilities –  and it goes on endlessly.

A child is no longer taught the ability to think for themselves.  If a child is active, that child is diagnosed immediately.  He needs pills to calm down.

Yet, as it was in the past when they were taught to think for themselves,many modern parents often feel that children are ready to face this complex world when they are ‘unleashed’ after finishing school.  How can they make proper decisions if they’ve never been allowed to think for themselves?  Is this now becoming ‘a tiny amount of control’ most people feel they are losing in  all other aspects of their lives?

Sky - sunset

Fear
The fear that binds, inability to move –
To see – to function, to paralyze, what if…
– soon – or possibly – never?
Never – (as though it’s a new concept)
– Then what?  Who creates that fear-
Forever, never – to end.
The fear that binds, that chokes
That holds the fear firmly in place.
Enhanced – encouraged – taught.
Mannequins wander the streets
Living in false safety, Afraid to do anything
But what is told.
Listening in fear, no purpose, no function.
Voices are loud, resound inside.  Drowning out
Reason.  The ability to think, the ability to dream.

Anger slowly bubbles, drowning fear, replaced by fury.
Indecisive, threats and possibilities
Rage within.
Conquered by awakening, that fear that binds
Creates a strength –
“Do what you will.  I am ready,
Get it over with – so I can live.”
Freedom from fear that binds,
Freedom to think – to reason without
Those loud voices – they lie and shout.
Have the ability to think within
Your own reason – your own thoughts.
A heavy weight lifts from the chest.

… by Mary M. Forbes

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2 thoughts on “Paralysing Fear

  1. Mary, you hit on so much here. Our children, because of TV and the Internet and the horror stories that were never heard of before technology, were very protected whereas we survived pretty well on our own (‘be home when the lights go on’) – I hope there will come of time of simplicity again but somehow doubt that future in my lifetime.

    • Thank you Lesley. I was just remembering how independent my son was – so much that a teacher called me in for an interview to meet the mother of Shaun – who was so different. It was funny.
      I do agree – we can never go back. So we must go forward.We can do something about this fear we are instilling in our children if we could stop and think it out. We just have to figure out what we are doing wrong. It’s never hopeless. 🙂

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