August 14, 2008

On Fear…

Fear has always been viewed as a bad bad thing; I can understand why, I am not really arguing. Or am I?

People always go on and on about how destructive fear is, and how it keeps us from living experiences to the fullest or enjoying our lives and all that. People always criticize those who succumb to their fears and idealize those who overcome them. They have even come up with brilliant phrases praising those who rise above their fears, describing them as brave and courageous.

As much as everyone seems to have agreed on that, society seems to promote fear! How else would you explain why people refrain from saying or doing so many things!! Perhaps even more when it comes to women! Women are not encouraged to be bold, it is somehow claimed that it reduces their femininity or something; they always have to have some fears for their men to conquer!! But then again, is society manipulating fear to promote courage and bravery??! I’m babbling!

I think fear isn’t all that bad! As crippling as it is, fear keeps us from doing stupid stupid things, which we might view later as horrible mistakes. Fear forces us to consider consequences… in an awful awful way, I admit, but it gets the job done much better and more effectively than wisdom. Fear can be useful at times I suppose.

Look at children, they have no fear. Their cute little minds have not yet grasped the concept; it means absolutely nothing to them. Look at how many times they pull the funniest yet most stupid stunts that cause them to repeatedly fall and hurt themselves. They cry their hearts out, as well as they parents’, and they simply do them over and over again until they develop some certain understanding! Yeah yeah, learning and developing and all, but it’s too much pain as well, at least for someone who’s feeling as sore as I am right now, so spare me!

I have been a child for quite a long time that way; I still am in a sense. I face my fears and confront them by doing exactly what they would normally stop me from doing. If I had a nickel for every time I did something because I was too stubborn to succumb to my fears, I’d be a millionaire! I hate admitting that most of them were stupid things that I would regret had I believed in regret.

I would like to meet the wise man who said that the best way to conquer your fear is to face them and share my experience with him and tell him he should have added that sometimes your fears are there for a reason and that sometimes you need to spend more time finding out the reason instead of proving your fears wrong with utter ignorance motivated by stubbornness.

My dad used to push me to go ask for directions whenever we got lost in a foreign country to teach me that I should be daring enough, and well, to hide his own embarrassment for getting us lost in the first place. He always wanted me to be the brave boy he never had, but he realized when it was too late that he forgot to teach me how to listen to my fears. In his own way, he had shaped me into a girl admired for how different she was, problem is her uniqueness was not that easy to appreciate once one had to constantly deal with it.

All my life, people would admire/criticize me saying I am “garee2a awy” because I would bluntly speak my mind!! Well, they can rest assured now, I stopped; words seem to struggle to come out of my mouth thank you very much!

But I am still too stubborn to listen to my fears and reason with them!! I still dare them and do the opposite thing just to prove that I am better and higher; I am vain that way. And today after talking to my “khawafa” friend, I told her that the thing everyone criticizes her for is the exact thing I need to keep myself safe for a while.

So my dear friend, here is to fear, it’s not always that bad.


Evaluna said...

I'm sorry I disagree with a few points here... I'm a little sleepy though so I hope what I'm about to say will make any sense:

fear is not the same thing as being careful, close... yes, related... yes, but not the same. We are *supposed* to be careful about things in order not to make dire mistakes, we are afraid of doing things *because* of the possible dire consequences, but you still cannot confuse both words...

here's a stupid example of what i want to say but seem unable to: you're all alone in a jungle, you're hiding on top of a tree scared that there could be a lion out there to get you, you're waiting for help, now if you hear the lion roar and you're scared... it will not be called "facing your fear" to jump right infront of the lion and roar back.. it's a lion, of course it'll attack. but you could be careful while waiting for help... and you could talk yourself into being less afraid because you're doing your best to cover your back and hopefully nothing will happen if you calculate every step if you can.

Fear is not bad all the way, I agree there, it helps sometimes.. it helps if you need to be careful. I think the whole "face your fears" concept applies when such fears are not fears of taking possibly silly or miscalculated actions. Ya3ny acrophobes should not face their fears by literally jumping out of high buildings masalan... that would be dumb now won't it?! this is not facing fears... this is proving your fears right!

making wrong decisions cannot be attributed to facing fears... it's ignoring precaution with a slight mix of vanity, it's simply human, we all do it, but it's not what I would call facing fears! fear may not be bad all the way but they ARE destructive if they exceed a certain limit, and yes we should face them.. but wisely if we can!

do i make any sense at all here?

insomniac said...

ok! i get what you mean, although it really was not clear at all!!

perhaps i was not being accurate enough with my words... i know the difference between carefulness and fear, and i still meant fear, i was not confused... ever considered that one can still do the same stupid rash things "carefully"...

the lion example barely works :) i mean when there's a lion, it's a no brainer to get off the tree or to not get off the tree... i meant trickier decisions that may have life altering results, not life or death :)

well, i am an agoraphobic... i face my fear by riding roller coasters and i would give parachuting a try some day!! just to prove to myself that i can win... i can die in the process because of my fear of heights... but it's still not what i meant, u just made me bring it up when u mentioned acrophobia... and acrophobic or not, no one would just jump out of a high building, it's called suicide!!!!

making a wrong decision that you are aware is above 50% wrong and you know you think that way because you're afraid, is what i do... what i want to say is that fearlessness the way i practice it can be very destructive as well..

i don't think we're disagreeing, i just think ur applying my logic (or lack of it) on the wrong situation...

Shimaa Gamal said...

Hello Inso
Actually it is my third time to read the post and try commenting. The first thing that came to my mind wasn’t really related to fear. It was related to acceptance. How a “khawafa” should be accepted with her fears, the same way a “garee2a” has the right to live without being judged.
Kol wa7ed fina fi voices betkalemoh. Voices of instinct & experience. Fi nas el voices di 3alya we ra3’aya … voices dayman shayfa el worst case scenario. Welly 3andhom el voices di 3alya bey2olo 3alihom khawafeen. Welly mesh beysma3ooha bey2olo enhom brave. El shatra mesh enena mansma3sh those voices, la el shatra enena net3alem nesma3ha, bas without letting it decide our course of living.
Bas as for the lion’s example, you can never expect what a coward could do. Personally I would never stay up the tree hoping that I am careful enough and the help will find my way. I would probably face the lion. If you are a genuine coward, you would know that the worst thing isn’t en el 7aga elly enty khayfa menha te7sal, the worst thing is to live that fear waiting for that thing to happen.

Adam said...

fears are there for a reason and that sometimes you need to spend more time finding out the reason instead of proving your fears wrong with utter ignorance motivated by stubbornness.

The things I fear the most are the very same things that have already happened before.

Adam said...

*out of topic*

Everyone's already shrieked and AHHed over this but in case you missed it, here you go.

insomniac said...


ur right about el shatara en el wa7ed yesma3 the voices bas ye7akkem 3a2lo abl ma yetsarraf... i think my major problem is the "stubborn" factor... and because i don't believe in regret, i prefer acting foolishly rather than forever wondering what if i had acted in a certain way!!!

as for the lion example, enty keda agra2 menny, aw agann menny!!! i think keyword there is "desperation"; like i said before, it results from fear but casts it aside making us do strange strange things :))

insomniac said...


strangely enough i know what you mean...

ok, so here is a question, a wondering if you will... u had a bad experience and ur over it already... wouldn't worrying about having this experience repeated stop you from exploring things that can actually turn out great and make you miss out on things you wanted only because you were too afraid!

as for the link: 7ARAM 3ALEIK... such things turn my stomach and literally hurt!!!! OUCH

Adam said...

you get me girl!

(& yea I think its strange 'cos so far you're the first person to think this particular sentence "The things I fear the most are the very same things that have already happened before" actually makes sense)

P.S. You can't miss the most horrific Olympic moment.
Now its your turn to pass it on.

insomniac said...

mmm, i think we all have that fear btw! it's just people perceive it differently... some people simply drop it out of calculations by having their peace with missing out on whatever opportunities without even having to recognize why they did it... others don't care and take their chances fast enough before they start getting afraid...

i kinda belong to the second group, but i take the time to torment myself in the process :-/

so which kind are you? or is there a third type (or more)??

as for the olympics, i left you the honor... el nas hated3eelak

Adam said...

The first definitely.

Except for momentarily lapse of reason out of unusual attacks of amnesia.

The cherry on the top of all this opportunity-missing is handing it out to others.
"No you take the chicken breast. I'm fine with the neck and gizzard really."

insomniac said...


so people mistake you for a generous person when ur really scared from previous experience!

Adam said...

yea...but don't spread the word. I'm kind of keeping that in the hush-hush.

Innate_Inanenuss said...

Well, here's my comment...Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong and completely wrong.

It's an utter shame to find a human being promoting fear in such sickening way. No wonder you're a true fearful egyptian then. Wait till you see egypt rebel against fear as the one your afraid you'll have nothing with that.

What stupid things are you talking about here? let me tell you if fear --not logic and reason - is the sole and only thing that'd deter you from doing that allegedly stupid thing...then believe me, you should do it and know then that it's not stupid. Stupid is that f*ckin excuse your hereditary fear-controlled mind gives you to back out on something you wanna do. Fear is not normal..fear results from dysfunctional upbringing.

I doubt that you've ever been "garee2a" a daring person can never come again and promote fear like this...

Now excuse me as I have to barf.

insomniac said...

i could calmly argue and explain what i meant, which u obviously have not totally grasped, or even comment back on your comment which i found aggressive and rude to say the least!!!

but i won't...

i don't mind it when ppl disagree as long as they have the decency and the tact to do it in a civil manner... calling me or whatever i say "stupid" does not make you any smarter!! so please take your hostility somewhere else where perhaps it could be welcomed or appreciated.

Innate_Inanenuss said...

"take your hostility somewhere else"!!!

Damn!! when did I hear that before? What's with that sentence? girls seem to like it or some. So What am I...for god's sakes I wasn't like opening a bloody bank account or somethin to be told that. Well, let me tell u, as this is your blog, this is my "hostility" and I put it in whatever bank I want. So just CHILL. Please.

I didn't call you stupid...i called u a friggin coward...cowards write stuff like that. U could be smart and coward..though u gotta know that's extremely rare.

Insomnia, you need to calm need sleep...pop a sleeping pill please. You'll probably wake up feeling a lot more braver.

Shimaa Gamal said...

It is really nice to learn how to be brave from someone who hides behind the internet anonymity. Girl, that’s really brave, insensitive comments are a brave thing. Keep it up.
And let me tell you something about those cowards, those cowards are called cowards because they happen to see what the brave can’t see. That’s why cowards live and the bravest of all are buried in cold tombs.
I believe you are the one who needs the pill!

insomniac said...

shimaa, it's not a girl!

other than that, i have nothing to say; i don't respond to rudeness and i've learnt it's best to ignore it at times, so screw it!

Shimaa Gamal said...

Oh God, not a girl! I didn’t check the gender because it just sounded like a little brat girl. I never thought men that age could be that hmmm girly.

Innate_Inanenuss said...

Shaimaa, hadn't it been for those brave one swho had died, you'd be still be able to enjoy existing like ur doing now...while planted before ur monitor proud of ur fear.

There's a huge diff. between existing and living...cowards don't live...they merely exist.

Well, shaimaa' I really couldn't care less about what u think of me...I have a life that I know is way better than urs...but wait till u see what I do think and know about u. Believe me u would not be able to even stand it...u might even jump off a building.

Damn!!! if only stupidity would hurt like would not have stopped screaming.

Innate_Inanenuss said...

and btw...u need't have seen my profile to know I am of the male sex..there's a pic next to my user name...u see..ya there u go.

Told's extremely rare to be both smart and coward. I hope u learn soon though.

Shimaa Gamal said...

Ironically enough that very same picture was the reason I thought you are a female creature, sorry really ugly one with huge esteem problem ... I guess I was partially right :)

"Well, shaimaa' I really couldn't care less about what u think of me...I have a life that I know is way better than urs...but wait till u see what I do think and know about u. Believe me u would not be able to even stand it...u might even jump off a building.

You Have a life => Good for you

wait till u see what I do think => I don't really care so spare yourself the time figuring me out

u might even jump off a building => hey, I am a coward, cowards never jump off buildings :) :)

Inso I feel like quoting Ahmed Mekky :)