Wrestled for a second only on today’s post title. For a brief moment I considered “Discovery at the edge of fear…” Except there is quite a difference in the implied topic, no?
What can fear help a person to discover about oneself? Can it bring into focus (like a high speed 85 mm) one’s priorities? Or shake a body out of apathy, malaise or reservation? Can it be the salve for a weeping wound of “wtf”? Don’t know. What I do know is I had a dose of shaken soul syndrome about an hour ago when my neighbor called. The message on the ansering machine (yes, I have one of those machines from the 20th century) was short and not so sweet. It was a ” howdy neighbor, just letting you know my house was broken into about an hour ago – keep a lookout”. Huh, didn’t see that one coming. Called my neighbor back immediately. Since I’ve been alone in my own house all morning (still am) clueless while my neighbor’s home and property was in the process of being violated, it seemed prudent to get some info. All I got however was the same info he left on the machine that his house was broken into about an hour prior. He couldn’t “talk right now” because he had the Sheriff on the other line. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciated the heads up but who puts the Sheriff on hold in that situation?
Robbery in broad daylight. Very bold, crazy or both. The frightening thought is that the robber person or persons most likely was/were on foot. This is a street, that although 2 miles from town, “feels” like and has the look of being in the country. Most homes are on at least 10 acres as are the ones on either side of us and set back from the road. (We are one of a few who have a couple of acres sandwiched in with the big guys.)
Now to reaction. The fear. The “what the fuck?” The anger. “How dare someone do that!” Then, the thought: “has person or persons unknown been casing the street?“* Would seem so since our neighbor’s home can only be seen from the street. The other 3 sides are lined with trees and shrubbery. Pretty smart I suppose for said robber. Or bold. Or crazy.
Pretty much my first instinct was to break out the Stoeger. It’s been years and to be honest I wondered that in a pinch I would remember how to work the safety release – it always was a bit tricky. I know what you are thinking – a bit dramatic since the thieves are most likely long gone. Maybe. Life, people and culture is quite different in the south. There are common cultural “differences” in rural communities everywhere but there is a craziness here that still blows my mind.
But I keep sidestepping the point. Fear can be a useful tool. It can lead to discovery of self. For example, it can propel individuals to perform courageous acts, it can prompt instinctive protective reactions, it can …. Wow! Just caught a glimpse of the “other” meaning in those statements. Be assured that I write strictly from a positive, self instructive, self motivational place. No political statements at this blog!
Having said that, just as fear can be useful to manipulate the masses, it can and should be used to motivate oneself to be more productive, more creative, more everything. My reaction to the thought of being personally threatened, or my dog being threatened is quite revealing. So why would I wait for something awful to happen to get my motivational juices going? Why do I continue to live as if I do in fact have tomorrow? I don’t know for a fact that I will wake up tomorrow. Damn! Seems like a good time to get up from this computer.
(Unfortunately, the “Get off my Lawn” vid from Gran Torino is not available.)
* Heard back from my neighbor. 4 guys in a car drove up to his house, got out and robbed it. His mother-in-law was home. They left in a hurry. Those stories about mother- in-laws from hell must be true? Thankfully, no one innocent was physically injured. This has been going on for a week so heads up – cocked and loaded.