All fears are irrational

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All fears are irrational

Hannah Miller, Copy Editor

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You can’t help it; the fear that’s sinking in, leaving you paralyzed. It’s the kind that seeps into every beat of your heart, every pore in your skin, every crack in your composure. No matter how hard you try to remind yourself that you already checked the closet before you went to bed; no matter how often you say to yourself that you’ve been in this room for the past 2 hours, and nothing has been able to come in; no matter how simple and irrational a fear it seems to be, the dark crack in the closet doors has beaten you, and you can’t help but feel ashamed, because really, how ridiculous it is to be terrified of a closet?

Though certain terrors are categorized as irrational more often than others, we tend to overlook the fact that all fears are illogical. From clowns to closed-in spaces, from heights to spiders in your hair, why are certain triggers seen as foolish? We tend to remind ourselves that there are more realistic monsters in our world: guns, robbers, rapists and so many more. These seem more justified, and therefore we stereotype the rest as unreasonable. “Stop being a baby,” you’ll hear. “What’s there to fear behind the shower curtain?” What we overlook though, is that there should be nothing to fear from anything at all.

You have nothing to fear, not even fear itself.”

— Hannah Miller

Franklin D. Roosevelt once said that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, and though I absolutely admire this quote, I have to disagree. Feeling powerless in the face of panic is an awful feeling. Why, then, would one ever allow themselves to experience fear? This emotion that raises the hair on your arms, causing your blood to curdle and your spine to tingle, may seem unavoidable, but I think you have nothing to fear, not even fear itself.

Every fear you don’t face becomes a self-set limit; an obstacle in your life to eventually overcome. Even fears that cannot be seen- self doubt, fears of rejection and failure, of not being enough- are mental. All can be overcome if you just think about how preposterous they all really are. Plato, another totally awesome and spectacular fellow, is one of the most famous philosophers for a reason. To Plato, true courage was nothing more than knowing what not to fear. To have true courage, you need not be fearless, but understand that you have nothing to dread, or gain, from the feeling of being afraid.

Mark Twain, Dumbledore, Gandhi, Yoda, Rosa Parks, Oprah, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, da Vinci; all are great luminaries of the past that touch on the topic of fear. It is one of humanity’s oldest enemies, and yet one of our closest alliances, keeping us alive when we didn’t know any better. Like all things, there is a happy medium. Fear tells you that the star of a horror film should not go into the abandoned chainsaw shed with a bunch of dead bodies. Sometimes, it’s just giving you a little warning. But, do not ever let it tell you that you can’t accomplish something, because the dark is not an irrational fear. It’s an irrational limit, just like every other fear out there.

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