Swami Vivekananda has said- ” Fear is death, fear is sin, fear is hell, fear is unrighteousness, fear is wrong life. All the negative thoughts and ideas that are in the world have proceeded from this evil spirit of fear. ”
The truth of this is evident today everywhere in our society.
What are we afraid of? Maybe we would have a shorter list if we asked what we are not afraid of!
Our lives have become highly insecure. Very unpredictable. We cannot be sure of anything any more. And this scares us.
A hundred questions confront us-
Will I still be employed tomorrow?
In these times of inflation will my income be sufficient to meet my family’s needs?
Will my children be admitted to the educational institutions of their choice?
Will I be able to pay the exorbitant fees?
Crime rates are rising- will thieves break into my home tonight and steal all my valuables?
Will protesters break the windows of my shop?
Will my brother come into the way of rioters by coincidence and be hurt?
We feel that no one follows rules any more. Everyone is just concerned with making a fast buck. People look out for their own interests only. It is ‘Survival of the fittest’ and those that are not ‘fit’ may fall by the side along the way.
We are sometimes so afraid that we begin to see dangers where none exist. Then we run away from a rope lying on the road thinking it is a poisonous snake. We tremble when we hear a creaking door thinking that a monster is coming.
So how to counter this feeling of fear?
Knowledge is an effective weapon. Knowledge helps us see things as they really are. We do not fear that which we know.
Fear increases when we feel that we are alone. Individuality has gained great importance in today’s society. But we forget the advantages of being part of a group.
We become more assured when we feel that we have family or friends supporting us. Even our sportsmen play with added vigour when they know that all their countrymen are cheering for them.
But the most important thing that banishes fear is the confidence that we are doing what is right.
While Arjuna felt that he was committing a sin in fighting his elders and his cousins on the battlefield at Kurukshetra, he was afraid. But when Lord ShriKrishna explained that it was his duty to do so he proceeded into battle with conviction..
It is said that a coward dies a thousand deaths. On the other hand a brave person is not afraid even when facing death. There are many people who are afraid at the slightest sign of sickness, but there are others that are cheerful even when terminally ill.
Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said-“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
We must shed this ‘fear of fear’ which grips us. Fearlessness is what we need today. Fearlessness- To be able to face the truth. To see clearly what our duty is. And to act upon it with conviction.