When I was a child I went through a phase where I was terrified to get out of bed. I was convinced that something terrible lurked underneath waiting to grab my foot, hand, or ankle if it drifted over the side. Daytime was fine, but by nightfall I was sure this Thing had lurked through the shadows back to its hunting space waiting for me to make a fatal mistake.
Like most childhood fears, this one was irrational and unfounded. I don’t recall an incident with even so much as a spider to warrent the thought of something creepy under my bed, much less the gigantic monster I was certain of. Nevertheless, this fear persisted until I just outgrew it one day.
We all go through stages of irrational fear. While there are certainly real life situations where fear or caution is prudent and appropriate, there are many other instances where we are just uncertain, doubtful, and illogical fear takes over. What strikes me about my early fears of what was under the bed is that there is no logic as to why it manifested to begin with. It would have been just as logical for me to have a happy curiosity about what was under the bed, but fear appears to be the immediate biological response to the unknown for most of us.
I don’t think this goes away as adults. Take the current situation of our nation and world. The way most people talk these days you would think the sky is going to fall any moment. Sure there are real concerns out there: two wars, rumors about other nations, and a stagnant economy; but many think these things amount to a pessemistic future at best, and the end of the world at worse.
However, I think the fear over an uncertain future is as unwarranted as fearing what may be lurking underneath the bed. It is just as likely to be good and bright, so why not error on the side of optimism? We can just as easily create a better world as destroy it, and it seems more logical to approach the future with happy curiosity than doom.
Just a thought.