Fear of Others and Why It Sucks

As a society we have feared other things, people and ideas for centuries. From fearing the rise of immigrants in our country to even simple ideas such as public speaking. Yet, despite the widespread fear that plagues our country, I would argue that, as a country, we fear other things way too much. This has become extremely detrimental for every individual and country. We have become so scared of anything that is considered “other,” that we fail to open our minds to the possibility of deviating from our typical norm. Rather, instead of opening up to the different ideas, we get stuck in our own ways. It becomes a cyclical pattern that we get stuck in and have an extremely hard time getting out of. However, only when we can get out of our comfort zone and embrace all “others” can we grow as a person and accept what all the great things the world has to offer. 

The most prominent fear that I see in America is that of race. People have politicized race and other ideas like it so much that some have separated themselves from any person that might look different than them. It is sad, really, to see that people can’t accept those in the world that aren’t necessarily a clone of themselves. And we’ve seen this issue have extremely brutal and frightening effects: racism, slavery, lynching, violence, discrimination and much more. It’s so evident that anyone that visits America can clearly see the divide we have created among ourselves. It’s depressing to see that fear has this much of a grip on us. 

Another fear I see is the fear of science. Or more specifically, the fear of believing those that are in the science field. And while this makes sense for those that have been harmed by such science, such as eugenics, the fear today is still not entirely justified. Science today has become so incredibly politicized that many have come to fear the thing that built our country from the ground up. We no longer accept science as a growing and developing process that has the capacity to change lives, but instead something that we’ve become dubious about. From doubting the fact of climate change to the down-right denial of the effectiveness of masks, our country’s doubt in science is so widespread that it creates a problem. Despite all the data and facts that science has laid out, people still fear science itself and doubt it because it is unfamiliar to them. Science, like race among other things, has no reason to be feared. Rather we as a society, as a people, need to begin to embrace the unknown. Embrace the facts that we were once scared of (climate change/race) and embrace the people around us. 

Too often we create divides between ourselves and an idea, person or thing because we simply are not familiar with it. We need to realize that things that seem different than what we are used to are often what helps us grow. Fear of the unknown has become second nature for so many, but I urge you to rethink the notion that being different is bad. I urge you to look at your preconceived notions around all things different. Embrace what the world has to offer, and stop letting fear control your life, if not, you’ll be held down by the chains of fear and not be able to fully live a great life.