The Fear Plague

If I asked you to put your arm into a shark's mouth, would you do it?

What if I told you this shark had already eaten a very hearty meal, and his mouth was opened by someone else - would you do it then?

Those who understand sharks would immediately say yes, without hesitation.

But what about the rest of us? Most cringe at the sight or thought of sharks, wish their demise, some even go so far as to torture, poke, and berate a shark when they encounter one. Without an understanding of specifically what causes a shark to attack, which species are more prone, and how to effectively defend oneself, the general public is left with only crippleing fear. Since the movie Jaws and its surrounding publicity, a larger majority have at least qualmed some of their fears, but there remains a surprising percentage of completely uneducated people.

Same can be said for every cause of fear known to man. Fire, death, heights, bugs, crowds, AIDS, guns, homosexuality, ridicule, other races, witches, and spirits all number amongst the thousands of fears that have gone through the test of time and been conquered, in at least some form, by more than just a few. Every day more people are being educated on these subjects and being released of their misgivings, but in most cases the fear is so deepset that it takes a very long time for the entire society to adapt. Worse yet, some people even fear change.

Eventually every fear is relinquished, but not without a period of extreme hate. Witches have been burned, former slaves were Seperate but Equal, Jews were killed in droves, homosexuals battle to marry or join the military or gender-specific groups, AIDS made facemasks a fashion, and we have made ourselves hypocrits over the Third Amendment. We scorn our criminals and free-thinkers alike, torturing, poking, and berating without any form of second thought.

What is not understood is feared.

Natural human response is to fight, or take flight.

Recently I have encountered a few with extreme misgivings, causing a bit of a squabble in my comments. Merely more evidence of the fear plague. It has come into question why I haven't blocked them from slandering me. They are simply responding to their human nature and fighting - I do not fear that. What's more, they are openly displaying their ignorance. This is actually a good thing. When a customer complains it means you have a chance to fix it. Only the truly ignorant would 'change the channel' and go somewhere else.

...or should that perhaps be the other way around?


cheesemeister said...

Nope, I ain't gonna stick my arm in a shark's mouth no matter what anyone says!
I'm phobic of insects, but I don't kill them unless they get on me or are something like a centipede and get in my house. I take spiders outside unless they are poisonous, in which case they are history.
I am, however, ok with gay people and I had 2 friends who died of AIDS. I wasn't afraid to touch them, hold their hand, hug them, etc. I have taken care of AIDS patients and I take the same precautions with them as I do with any other patient, no more and no less.
I like your points about fear and prejudice.
But I still ain't sticking my arm in a shark's mouth--unless you've got a million bucks attached to that dare!

Trisha said...


Thanks for that - I needed it =)

...on a side note, a shark's eyes close when their mouth is open. And unless you're bleeding, he won't even know you're there.

Thanks so much for the link at http://bmah.blogspot.com/ reader number 20! =)

animus said...

I agree with your little rant. I hate to see people kill little bug people.
They are my friends!
I don't even kill the poisonous ones.
I just talk to them and they respect me as i do them.