Grask: Fears enable us to evolve

Tyler Grask

“What we seek we shall find; what we flee from flees from us.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

What do you fear? Is it something non-existent? Is it a habit? Is it a vicious animal? There are an incredible number of fears out there. Some are considered crazy, others are universal. I believe everyone fears something, whether they admit it or not. It’s human nature.

Being alone, snakes, spiders, clowns; these are all prime examples of common human fears. Is it crazy to fear some things? This calls into question defining what is normal. Normal, to me, is something the majority of people agree on and makes sense; at least those that think of it making sense. So, when speaking of what is crazy. Crazy fears are what put people in the looney bin.

For example, a 40-year-old man is neurotic over the fact aliens are going to burst into his home and molest him. The four fears I listed to start this paragraph, those would be what I consider normal fears.

Clowns are debatable, but try saying that after you watch the movie “It”.

What is normal and abnormal is often to be determined by the individual. Being afraid of something that brings pain and displeasure if not avoided, is normal. A big reason of how we humans have successfully evolved is because of fear. It drives us, often instinctively, to take the path that produces safety and security.

Why one fears something is due to biological factors, experience or a combination of both. Perhaps a scary experience triggers a biological fear buried deep inside. Whatever your heart-racing stimuli are, they are there for a reason, to keep you alive; either that or drive you crazy.

But to go through life fearing so many things is such a negative, unproductive way to live. While there is much to fear out there in this big orb we call Earth, there is also so much awesome stuff in our everyday lives. Being attentive more to what brings you happiness, rather than fear and anxiety, is how life should be lived.

But you must live with a degree of caution, right? I mean, you’re not going to cross Lincoln Way without checking for oncoming traffic. You aren’t going to beerbong a bottle of Jack Daniels and expect to live to tell the tale.

Well, first of all, your body would immediately reject this. But you get my drift.

Common sense, it’s your buddy, use it. Common sense can eliminate paranoid thoughts, give life a sense of organization. Fear has it’s time and place.

Picture yourself in an airplane. You’ve never ridden one before. There’s a couple men with turbans sitting on either side of you. Shucks, you didn’t even get the window seat. So, already you’re in an uncomfortable, possibly threatening situation.

Oh no, what’s that rattling sound? A rattle snake, on a plane? Not just one, but they’re hidden everywhere! In the overheads, the barfbags, the lavatory; this is becoming a nightmare. All that’s missing from this Mona Lisa I’ve painted for you is Samuel L. Jackson screaming profanity about snakes on a plane.

You may be asking yourself, where is he going with this? The answer is simple: This is a situation with many realistic fears being laid out there. If you found yourself in this pickle, your fear, adrenaline would propel you to get out of the way of all this crap to a parachute or safe location.

Fears invoke responses that keep you alive. They exist for a reason. You just have to know what to fear and what not to. Fear doesn’t mean you have to be scared of something either. A fear should be a stimuli which grabs your attention. A fear is an awareness that keeps you on this planet.

Fear has enabled us and other species to have successfully evolved into what we are today. They keep us alert, and can sometimes drive us insane. But you shouldn’t let that happen. Live a good, honest life and deal with troubles as they come.