Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bears and Bombs

I am not afraid of bears.  I've never seen a bear in the wild, though I keep looking.  I imagine that if I found myself in my back yard with a big bear, I might decide to become afraid of them.  It would probably be a good, healthy thing to do.

I use to be afraid of nuclear war but I got over that.  I didn't get over it because it's no longer a threat.  We didn't remove the "Sword of Damocles" that President Kennedy talked about when I learned to be afraid of The Bomb

We used to have drills in school during which we would hide under our desks and cover our heads with our hands.  Amazingly, this did not alleviate our fear of The Bomb.  What if The Bomb happened when I was playing outside, away from the safety of my wooden desk?

Eventually we stopped worrying about The Bomb.  I repeat, we didn't stop worrying because The Bomb no longer exists.  In fact, their are many more bigger, better bombs now.  We figured out that hiding under our school desks, in fallout shelters or even in our well-stocked basements wouldn't mean spit if someone actually dropped a bomb on our town, but instead of becoming more afraid, we became less afraid.

There are so many more things to be afraid of now, it's hard to choose.  We could be afraid of climate change, cancer, spiders, biological warfare, bird flu, being hit by a meteor, vampires, going to hell, bears, people who pray differently, the number 16.

Perhaps we have nothing to fear but fear itself.  Nah.  We have lots of things to fear if we want to.  We can't do it though or all we'd do all day is be afraid.  Being afraid won't get rid of climate change, bird flu, or biological warfare.  Hiding under your desk won't protect you from The Bomb. 

Fear just wears me out.  So what to do, what to do? Well, I'm certainly not going to waste time and energy being afraid of things that statistically won't hurt me.  I'm not going to fear spiders or vampires or the number 16.  I'm not going to waste elevated blood pressure on fearing bears unless I'm likely to encounter one.  And I'm not going to lose sleep over the possibility of The Bomb in the hands of bad or clumsy people.

BUT I'm not going to pretend that hiding under my desk makes The Bombs go away.  I hope that better brains than mine can figure out how to get rid of them.  I'm not sure how it will be done, but I know that forgetting about them won't work.


  1. How easy it is to go to the two extremes...paralyzing fear or absolute denial. The middle way is much more courageous. :)

  2. The Bomb and other real evils will always be around, so I choose to ignore them. Life is short, and I try to concentrate on the good and the beauty of the earth instead.

  3. Fay, your writing is so captivating...I love reading what you create. Everything is so well said and the topics are good and thought-provoking - THANKS!

    on a side note: Happy Belated Birthday! :)