Friday, 23 October 2009

Dumb courage

I like the idea of blogging daily.
But not everything we like is likely to work out.
From my 22 years of life I have figured out that very few things that we like actually work out.
So I do not think I can blog daily – but I will try.
I have an important exam coming up on Monday.
I have started slogging but I do not think my usual 12 hour cramming routine will help this time – it is too late already.
Wish me luck!

This post is about fear, courage and intellect.
Most people consider fear a negative emotion.
It is drilled into minds of the youth that being fearless is rewarding.
I completely disagree.

So many people take things worth wondering about very lightly. They do not spend any time pondering about things that are waiting to be pondered about.
Fear is one among them.
I fear a lot of things in life – some worth fearing and some foolish.
I do not think being fearful is cowardly.
In fact, I am of the opinion that being fearless is plain dumb.

Fear is absolutely necessary for survival.
If I were fearless, I would be jumping off cliffs into roaring seas at the slightest excuse. The result of which is very obvious – death.
Fear is a feeling of impending doom and if it were not present we would be wiped out from this planet.

According to legend, there were plenty of such fearless sects in this world many of which we have read about in books and remained in complete awe of.
One among them would be the very popular Spartans.
Spartans claim to fame was their fearless nature – for those who have never heard of the Spartans, I strongly recommend reading Greek history or maybe even watching the movie 300 starring Gerard Butler (drool!). Even though the movie is a bit overdone on the ‘fearless’ bit I think Gerard Butler is totally worth watching it for!!
I am terribly sorry; my line of thought is fleeing from fearlessness into the strong arms of the sultry Gerard Butler (sigh!)
Well, the point is that Spartans died young.
It is sad but they did.
Their courage was their curse.
They almost always died young – the one thing to blame being their almost inhuman fearlessness.
I am sure most of you think living life to the fullest means you face your fears and come to terms with it.
But there certainly should be a limit.
A completely fearless person would unfortunately be dumb.

We fear so that we can survive.
We live in a big bad world and if we did not fear, survival would be out of the question. And courage is not something that should be completely awed.
A moron would be courageous because he would not think of the repercussions of his courageous actions! A fearless person, accept it or not, when risking his life, is momentarily acting against basic animal instinct – which is to survive. And hence he can very well be branded as being momentarily insane.
Courage is wonderful to read about.
Fearlessness is definitely inspiring.
But there is one thing that fearlessness and courage requires – that is the status of ‘nothing to lose’.
Unfortunately, life is something that is at stake.
So if you think life is worth putting at stake and that life is not something that will be ‘missed’ when lost, go ahead and be fearless.

I do not think we must live in fear of everything. If that was the case we would not live at all, but certain amount of fear is necessary to save our lives.
Being smart is being fearful at the right time and of the right things. By being smart you fear what you should fear and survive.
After all life is the ultimate sacrifice.

It would be awe-inspiring to hear someone say ‘I live life in the edge today because that way I would never regret not living my life to the fullest 20 years from now.’
But the question is if you live life on the edge today and just stumble over would you not regret not having a life to live 20 years from now?

I am not a coward.
I am not dumb either.
I fear. I live.


Sandeep Balan said...

be very very afraid...coz i am back...can u bear the fear? :P :P

Another Blogger said...

@ Sandeep Balan: This is weird but I think I can actually live with that fear... rather I think I quite enjoy the fact that you are back :)

Sandeep Balan said...

@another blogger aka ........ (fill it with ur name)

fear has a new name n address...fear=fun=fear (L.H.S=R.H.S) :P :P

Sandeep Balan said...

i think u cud add a "Mr." as well or shud i give u the name of my village as well so tht u can address me as "@ mr. sandeep ....... balan"...he he he :P....god! was tht a formal reply back :P :P

Another Blogger said...

@ "MR." Sandeep "UNKNOWN VILLAGE NAME" Balan : You forget, the 'Enlightened One does not engage herself in small talk with her followers on the road to Enlightenment..

Talking formally, surprisingly, is tiring me out! Bah! humbug.

Sandeep Balan said...

o enlightened one...let thr be light! :P

Elessar said...

bah! the message was always implicit- they meant "irrational fear" of course!
but it's a good idea to remind ppl...

oh, wait! on second thoughts...any fear is bad...fear is an unpleasant one...which isn't good. Instead, leave aside emotions and make decisions rationally-think of escape routes and methods of avoiding/combating the difficulties. If fear trigger these things, it's fine. But fear wud be needed in negligible amount. Moreover, fear- as an emotion doesn't help a person think rationally.
So? dunno- tht was a sudden of now i think being fearless is not dumb.

Another Blogger said...

@ Elessar: I disagree with your current 'thought'/opinion and am going to try and defend mine.

unpleasant emotions are what makes pleasant emotions more pleasant. if it werent for pain you wouldn't know how wonderful it is to be without pain. and it is the fear of pain that actually helps you to withdraw from it. if you were thoroughly fearless and went ahead and decided to 'meet pain head-on' it wouldnt be so smart!

fearlessness is plain dumb.
a little fear is what keeps us sane and safe!

Elessar said...

I feel pain and fear are different. Pain is the first signal to ur mind that warns u abt the situation and usually precedes voluntary observation. It's only after reception of the pain that u analyze the situation and take appropriate rational measures.
But fear isn't the same. U analyze the situation, and only then does the fear follow. If someone told u to jump off the cliff, fear isn't the intelligent signal that stops u- it's reason. U reason and come to a conclusion that u cud be hurt. Now if u dont jump, the credit doesnt go to fear always. For a person who doesnt know of the consequences of falling, fear wudn't prevent him from jumping.
A fearless person wudn't jump unless he's stupid.
so, yes, a fearless and stupid person wud jump.
If u say that fear of getting hurt stops him- thts true...but even without fear, thts possible.
The point is: fear and intellect are mutually exclusive. Hence fearless isn't being dumb.

Now i wud like to go on and say that fear actually suppresses reason. For an eg: I remember the scene in Saving Private Ryan where a sufficiently smart soldier who's mainly a translator is in a position where his friend and his enemy are engaged in a physical fight. His friend was trying to push the knife away from his chest while the enemy was trying to stab him. This guy(the translator) had a fully loaded gun in his hand, but has never had any real experience in fighting...and was very afraid- he just cudn't pull the trigger...he ends up in tears while the enemy finally succeeds in stabbing his friend and getting away with it.
Hence I claim: fear, like any other emotion, can deteriorate man's power of reasoning.

Mithun said...

somethin i think bout and you laid itout perfectly in words

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