Fear has been a major determiner of actions and inactions of most individuals, but fear is not the problem. Just like the exceptional musical artiste Passenger would sing “fear is for the brave, cowards never stare it in the eyes”. Simply put, you cannot see yourself as brave when you haven’t felt or faced fear. Someone once said courage is not the absence of fear but going ahead despite the fear.
Most people explain fear as False Evidence Against Reality, some see fear as an anxious feeling caused by our anticipation of some imagined event or experience. the psychologists see fear as a powerful and primitive human emotion that alerts us to the presence of danger, some philosophers states that the person that thinks things through has little to fear, though in this part of the world most actions taken is not as a result of courage but arrogance. Most persons in other to impress take ill thought actions and end up creating unnecessary problems for themselves.
Fear itself is natural, humans must experience fear, but “fear of fear” also known as “Phobophobia” is a danger that would ensure we limit ourselves and remain in the realm of centripetal success or achievement. Let’s take for instance a lady having a phobia for dogs and because of that she avoids everywhere that a dog can be found or anywhere that has a possibility of having a dog. Such a person with such fear of phobia has surely limited herself from achieving so many things, because she has not only avoided places that have dogs but has also avoided places that she thinks there “might” be dogs. This irrational and morbid fear has led to much depression, suicides, sufferings, inefficiency etc.
There is a very close connection between fear, death and religion, the quest and struggle for life is understandable, but for most people especially the black man this has limited his ability to be adventurous, revolutionary and rational.
The world today is what it is as a result of the selflessness and courage of great minds that went ahead despite fear, people who didn’t allow their fears limit their achievements, minds that where guided by reason, belief and love for humanity. The African man is in the church and mosque praying for things to be better and praying to make heaven, but isn’t ready to challenge the power that has put him in a difficult condition, because of fear of dying, false interpretation of the bible where people believe that God would fight for you and the soothing relief of religion/religiosity which doesn’t support revolutionary beliefs or thoughts but tantalizing illusions of hope. The late Afro beat legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti once complained bitterly about the high rate of fear among Africans in one of his greatest works “sorrow tears and blood” where he lamented about the irrelevant reasons given by the black man for not liberating himself he sang:
“ my people sef dey fear too much, we fear for the things we no see we fear for the things around us, we fear to fight for freedom, we fear to fight for liberty we fear to fight for justice, we fear to fight for happiness we always get reason to fear, we no wan die, we no wan wound, we no wan quench, I get one child, mama dey for house, papa dey for house, I wan build house and so on” this verse from the song summarizes the irrational reasons given by the Nigerian man for not liberating himself from slavery, suffering, poverty, joblessness, hunger, sorrows and bad leadership.
When the word liberation is stated, the famous speech by Patrick Henry “Give me liberty or give me death” comes to mind. The speech ended with the following words “What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death”!
In the song “dying running to live” the chorus stated “why are we dying to live when we came in to die” so many problems were solved, so many inventions where invented, so many persons were liberated by asking this type of question. Just like Karl Marx stated, “Question Everything” the moment we start asking salient questions about everything intrinsic to nature and transcending nature, then would fear gradually creep away from our lives and reason takes its place.
Martin Luther once said, “If you haven’t discovered something you would die for then you aren’t fit to live”. How can we discover something we would die for, when we live a life of fear and live like we would live forever.
Therefore before we give in to fear, we must remember that fear and fear of fear is a dangerous illness which everyone must be cured of, as it almost destroys revolutionary and selfless thoughts which are needed for the upliftment of the society and the human race.