“Everyone has fear. It’s how we handle fear that separates the hero from the coward” – Constantine” Cus” D’Amato

Tonight I shared good cheer with the five best people I know. My core inner circle of humanist warrior fellow travelers all arrived resplendent in their translucent armor, those loved and trusted from decades of earned respect, each one a splendid example of the best America has to offer, lands end searchers peering in the distance for a safe and true path to a better tomorrow; had come to celebrate my bon voyage Kerouac inspired one-way road trip across much of the Great Plains. I’m leaving paradise after thirty-four years, arguably the best place in the world to be, for the only other place that could be better; Home.

The spirits and nourishment flowed while the conversation acquired a tone that can only emanate from kindred souls. I usually find the eclectic divergence of the friends I amass rarely mesh but this evening was surprising different, due in large measure to Lisa, my Muse and beloved friend. While her hearts a’ thumping beauty stimulated us old men in the way young women do, it was  exceeded by her youthful purity and innocence that laid a blanket of ease over the occasion. The others, the dreamer, the realist, the artist and the entrepreneur all reveled in her presence. When one who hadn’t been around for a while asked if she were my girlfriend, I replied that she was much more than that and if she were did he think I’d be leaving?

As the evening ebbed we formed a perfect circle and talked about fear and how to overcome it; how the recent epic film The Hunger Games posited the notion that hope was the only virtue strong enough to eviscerate fear. Personally I’m not big on hope. I prefer reason. Once fear is analyzed we discover that there’s no situation that can be made better by entertaining fear. This is not to say fearlessness and courage are omniscient; walking up to pet a lion or a bear in the wild or testing the strength of a hurricane is not courageous; it’s foolish.

While it’s unwise in the extreme to harbor fear in any situation it is right and correct to show respect for the power of a being higher up the food chain or an act of god with the ability to injure or destroy us. Respect for anything causes us to reason, while fear freezes us in place, and while triggering that flight or fight reflex we all share, renders us useless and turns our magnificent brains, capable of reasoning fear, into a brick.

I love exploring these existential questions and it took this group of scholars to cause me to ponder and ask myself if there was anything left that I was truly fearful of. The answer that came back was the only thing I fear is fear. This revelation reminded me it was Winston Churchill, while rallying his nation in its darkest hour, who can be credited with the most eloquent, simple and preeminent logic on the question. “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”.   


About circusinpurgatory
Nick Masesso Jr’s fictionalized short stories, poetry and prose have been published in the Starry Night Review, Elegant Thorn Review, Language and Culture.net and Vagabond Press; the Battered Suitcase. His latest book “Armor of Innocence” and first book “Walking the Midway in Purgatory, a Journal” are available on-line and through bookstores.

One Response to Fear

  1. Pingback: 4 forms of fear: flight, fight, freeze, and fake « power of language blog: partnering with reality by JR Fibonacci

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