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I read an interesting article discussing the difference between worry and fear. It presents the information from the standpoint of how we may have acted historically or prehistorically compared to today. I find that information fascinating because I know that we do tend to adapt to our environment. I also know there are elements in our environment we do not adapt to we simply fear them.
Worry can occur as a result of something you lack all of the facts for. You know some of the information and what you know bothers you and it plays on your mind. It can also be called anxiety I suppose but I am not a psychologist. Fear on the other hand is something very specific. It is something you react to. It is something your body, mind and emotions begin to respond to immediately.
As an example let’s take someone from the 18th century who comes to our world. Perhaps they live on a farm and they are use to seeing snakes and other reptiles and small mammals that may be very feisty. If they came to our world and encountered these animals or were lost in the wilderness they no doubt could find their way home and could cope and would not be fearful of these animals. They may worry about how to negotiate modern day paths but would not fear the actual challenge of locating their home. However, if one of these people encountered a car going 80 MPH they might pass out.
Today we can encounter a car doing 80MPH and simply ignore it. However, if we encounter a snake our fear is exhibited.
I remember being in Vietnam in 1970. I got used to bombing and rockets and rifle fire. However one day I was on a particular “duty” and encountered two swaying Cobras. My heart rate didn’t slow down for about a month.
What is the point of examining this? Why do we care how we react or do not react to certain things? While I don’t know whether or not it was the initial purpose of the reference article, I think it is important that we are constantly examining our environment and that we take the time to identify and define those things for which we worry and fear.
How much better would our lives be if we first examined the “shadows” or worries that plague us and put them to rest? Then our attention could be fixed on the potential fears in our life so that we could prepare for them.