Stop Living in Fear

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“Shhh….don’t wail loudly. You Daadi will wake up and come and shout at both of us.”

“Shhh…don’t venture out at night. There are devils and witches out there who’ll suck your blood out.”

“Don’t laugh loudly. Your father doesn’t like anybody laughing loudly. It might attract evil eyes.”

“Don’t go far away from my sight. Don’t go to distant places even with friends and family. Something bad might happen.”

“Why do you want to study further? At the end of the day you only have to wash, cook and take care of the household. The more you study the lesser your marriage prospects will be. Apart from that your Dad will have to fight it out with an army of people from within the family and outside to let you even step outside of the house.”

“Girls like you only provoke people to ruin you. You can never really be anything more than a woman. The weaker sex. Do you want them to make you realize that?”

“Your marriage with so and so was fixed much before you were born. Don’t you dare refuse the proposal. It’s a matter of family honor.”

“Hey, can you ensure that you are not wearing a Jeans and Tee when you’re meeting my parents? They’ll approve of you faster if you wear traditional dresses.”

“I’m aware that I promised you equal rights and freedom, but honey, I beg you for the sake of the sanity of this house, to comply with the rules of the house. Else we might have to part ways. Then how will you survive in this society?”

“I know you’re a journalist, but you gotta understand that you’re living in this house and anything you write will affect us. Why do you write on politicians, society, and the blah blah blah. The so-and-so person you wrote on has caused this mob outside our house. Decide what you want from life: your family or your career.”

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Sick and tired of this constant fear that is instilled in us from the very first day we are born.

Aren’t you? I am. Do you want to live in constant fear?

Terrorists, Rapists, Corrupt Officials, Abusers, Quacks, Criminals turned politicians…

…what do they have in common?

They all survive and thrive upon the following four letter word.

FEAR

I’m 34 and mother of two. Yet I cannot say that I have complete freedom over my life.

No. No. I have been lucky in terms of being born into a good family, getting good education, living with the love of my life, enjoying a career of my choice.

But is that all?

Am I free to do what ever I want?

Am I free to speak whatever I want?

NO.

I have no freedom to speak or be myself. Because there’s a society that is constantly stalking me and judging me. I would like to rephrase this: A society that is constantly trying to pull me down by instilling this fear factor.

By the way, who is this society? Isn’t it us who make this so-called society. So then why? Why are we so different? Why are we interfering in everything that someone else does? Is it just lack of education? Or is it the constant conditioning? Or is it just nirmal anand of having scared someone or defeated someone?

Whatever it is, the thing is my society, or the society I am forced to be a part of , does not let me live my life the way I want or I should.

So? Who is at fault?

Isn’t it me? I mean you and me. Because the society comprises of you and me. So if we need to change the society, we ought to change ourselves.

As young children, you are our hope. We had a tougher battle to handle. But we have made some progress. Our generation (well a fairly big part of it) is much more accepting and adaptive compared to our previous generations. But you have to carry the baton forward. You ought to ensure that you want to fight it out for yourself, for your future generations.

The first step towards this is STOP LIVING IN FEAR. The more you fear people and their rules and principles, the more you are prone to living in the dark.

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It’s just a week ago that the Malaysian aircraft MH 370 disappeared en route to Beijing. With so much advancement in science and technology, we have not been able to search for it or in getting any clues of its whereabouts. This is a situation worth being feared as this is one experience that tells us that there still are things beyond human comprehension and control. But should it stop us? No. It should inspire us to go that extra mile and invent technologies that can help us counter such situations in the future.

So children, what I want to request you today is

Make fear your most valuable weapon, not a hindrance in your growth.

Play safe and be careful, but do not over do it.

Last but not least, Live and Let Live.

I leave you with some quotes that make a lot of sense.

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“I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. It begins in your mind, always … so you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don’t, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.” 

― Yann Martel, Life of Pi

After all, Darr ke aage Jeet hai! 🙂

One word of caution: Don’t act reckless just for the sake of being fearless as there is a difference between being fearless and being stupid. Overcome your fears confidently by preparing well and being sensible.
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This post is part of the WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts program where the aim is to post at least once a day based on the prompts that they have provided. Today’s prompt is, “Show and tell – You’ve been asked to do a five-minute presentation to a group of young schoolchildren on the topic of your choice. Describe your presentation.

This is one of the contributions to Project 365 – A Post A Day.

*All pictures in this post are a result of Google Image Search for the word, Fear.

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29 Replies to “Stop Living in Fear”

  1. Beautiful post Rekha! After reading the first line I felt like it was me telling my the then three year old not to cry loudly! The generation before us had mixed people — one ruled over their kids by instilling fear in them and the others helped their kids to overcome their fears and achieve whatever they wanted.

    1. Very well said Swati! From bullying to terrorism, it is fear that rules. It is not that some people are strong and others are weak. It is only that some people know how to instill fear and make others weaker. Somehow I have a feeling that the next generation has a better future because the parents of our generation are much more open, encouraging and adaptive.

  2. Fear is the most effective weapon of those who want to perpetuate social ills. I personally feel that fear of the unknown is the worst of all. This is used very effectively by astrologers and their ardent followers.

    1. Aah…the astrologers and the godmen, they thrive on the fear of the unknown that they so efficiently instill in people. The Rahu, Ketu and Shani tales…God save the world!

  3. Lovely post Reks, more so as I read it without even knowing what the prompt was. Loved how you have managed to convey quite an important lesson of life to children in such a simple manner. You always manage to keep your posts simple, to the point, yet extremely effectively get your point across and that’s why you ll always have me as a regular reader

    1. Thanks Jairam! I like simplicity and I love to keep my words simple. There is already enough complication that life offers each of us. Why take the trouble to add more to it? 🙂 I’m so so glad to have you as my regular reader.

  4. I did not have a clue that this was connected to such a prompt and had no clue either this could be presented so beautifully.
    Another one, I’d read a few days back was…
    FEAR – Either Forget Everything And Run Or Face Everything And Rise…

  5. Thought-provoking post, Rekha. Live and let live:) So true, fear is our biggest enemy and instilled in our minds to fetter growth as complete human beings. It’s really sad how society use fear as a weapon to control women and men development as human beings.
    Cheerz

  6. Lovely post, Rekha. I see the fear on facebook quite regularly. The fear that an honest comment will be frowned upon. The fear that makes us become effusive in our praise when tagged.

    1. “I see the fear on facebook quite regularly. The fear that an honest comment will be frowned upon.”

      Absolutely true, Sir! Thank you for reading! 🙂

  7. The Indian society – at least until a few years back – used fear to create (some) order amidst the chaos that societies normally are. That was our society’s way of increasing our chances of survival. For certain reasons, they prioritized survival and security over happiness and excellence. There should have been some wisdom involved in creating that particular societal structure? Don’t you see any advantage of instilling fear in the minds of young? For example, it could have been put in place to avoid excesses . . .

    Destination Infinity

    1. There’s no question or doubt about the wisdom of our forefathers in constituting order for the sake of a saner society. But just like you mentioned, excess of anything must be avoided, especially fear, which inhibits your growth.

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