As I’m sitting ensconced in my comfy chair on a lazy night watching a thriller about a serial killer who hunts and terrorizes women, I started thinking about fear. I mean, this is a lazy and relaxing night for me, but I’m sitting here and watching a movie that is the opposite of relaxing. Why do I watch movies about killers, horror movies and disaster movies? Why does anyone? Why do I read books about terrorism and spies and impending disaster? Why am I drawn to suspense? Is it the adrenaline rush that may come from the vicarious action? I’m far from the only person drawn to these kinds of books and movies. So, are we drawn to the action because we like to envision that we would survive the disaster and prevail heroically should we find ourselves in a similar world ending mass destruction zombie apocalypse climate change alien attack doom? Is it escape from our drab day to day lives where the most we typically conquer is an annoying commute or a cranky coworker?
“In order to learn the important lessons in life, one must, each day, surmount a fear.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Surmount a fear everyday? Man, that sounds exhausting. I don’t know about that. I get the spirit of it… pushing out of your comfort zone, pushing through fear and all that. But what would it be like to do it every single day? Stressful, that’s what. I’ve put a lot of work into making my life comfortable. Sure, I pushed through some serious fear in order to get where I am. But now, I’m kinda good. I would like to take a break from the fear conquering and the stress for a while.
And then, when I’m bored with the comfortable, I’ll get back to the surmounting of the fear. Maybe I’ll take Mr. Emerson literally and on Monday I’ll let a giant cockroach crawl on me and Tuesday I’ll use my broiler for the first time ever and risk exploding fiery doom and Wednesday I’ll tell a man to whom I’m attracted exactly how I feel and risk rejection and Thursday I’ll watch the horribly disturbing “I am Legend” and Friday I’ll sing karaoke while sober. Hmm, now that I’m seeing this proposed schedule of fear conquering– minus the cockroach– it sounds like a much more interesting way to live. Maybe Mr. Emerson got it right after all….
(And personally, I’ve always thought that should I find myself in a world ending mass destruction zombie apocalypse climate change alien attack, I would totally kick ass. It would suck; I’d be scared; But I’d kick ass.)
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
Peoples of my small world– Thoughts? Fears? Good scary movies? Conquering to do? Ass kicking plans? Oh, I know– here is the perfect place and time to get over your fear of adding a comment to a blog! What think you?