The Absence Of Fear

09 Feb 2008

I see a girl perched on the edge of a balcony high above the street, relaxing, and suddenly it all clicks.

Nobody here has any fear left. Everything bad that can happen already has. Perhaps it's a kind of fatalism, or perhaps it's like my experience with jumping: they broke their fear of death. It doesn't work any more.

Whatever the reason, it explains everything from the suicidal traffic to the lack of safety features on basic appliances to the incredible freedom of a society that exchanges "think of the children!" for "it's your neck, man".

In the West, nothing bad ever happens, so we jump at shadows and self-destruct after minor setbacks. Fear is like the allergies that cripple children never exposed to dirt. Fear is increasingly how we are ruled.

We all have a lot to gain from the absence of fear.