I was talking to a really nice guy recently who said he doesn’t agree with a lot of what I write. That’s understandable. It happens all the time. But what bothered me, and frankly left me without a response at the time, is that he referred to the world as “terrifying.”
Is the world “terrifying?” It seems a lot of people find it so. Why?
Some people are terrified by freelance criminals. Others are scared by the prospect of having people they don’t agree with controlling the coercive force of The State; whether domestically passing oppressive “laws,” or around the world creating anti-American sentiment that fosters blow-back. Many are undoubtedly afraid of things that fear-mongers with an agenda have placed into their minds — things that seem plausible and are easily imagined, but may never come to pass. I don’t know what form this man’s fear takes, but I think all fear comes from the same place.
I think fear is a result of feeling that you have no control over events that will affect your life and the lives of your loved ones. Some events you truly can’t control, but you have more control over most events than you might believe, if you take the initiative and grab it. Your life is in your hands. Don’t rely on others to do things that are your responsibility.
Your safety, which is a big issue, can’t be delegated to anyone else even if they insist that you must. All your actions have consequences that you will have to deal with even if you would rather not. If you try to hand your consequences or responsibilities to someone else, that very act will create the consequences you will now be dealing with, which may well be worse than those you were avoiding.
I am not terrified by the world. I am certainly not afraid of other people’s liberty, nor of my own. Reality is what it is. Bad things will always happen, no matter whether you live in a “safe, controlled” police state or in a “chaotic” free society. Volcanoes will erupt in Libertopia just as they will in Controlistan — but more freedom gives more leeway and more resiliency in dealing with the unexpected events. “Top-down” control is just too rigid to deal with unknowns. Why add to the unpreventable events by enabling those which could be avoided by simply taking back your responsibility? No one knows how to run your life better than you do. So, fear or not, step up and do what you need to do.
You will be fine.
Kent McManigal is a freelance writer who sometimes offers commentary on our websites. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org