This incident happened last year, when my daughter was in her Kindergarten. All of sudden, there was something wrong with her. She became gloomy and we were sure something has happened. We tried to get her tell us if anything was wrong; but she wouldn’t. In few days, she too seemed to have forgotten about it.

One day while I was helping her to complete some homework, she narrated an incident that happened few days back. While she was writing something in the class, she made a mistake. When she tried to erase it with an eraser, the paper tore. OK, she didn’t expect that. She was afraid that the teacher would scold her. So what she did – she tore that page off and put it in to the dustbin and continued on a fresh page.

Soon when they were showing their assignments to teacher, she was caught. The teacher told her that she had done some cheating and there is no way she will get promoted to the next class.

Poor girl, she took this to be serious and this had made her down. Imagine, for days the small child was trying to handle something that she didn’t really know..

The reason I narrated this story is to demonstrate how much fear is instilled in to our minds from our early childhood. Soon they become patters and our habits and eventually our personalities.

When I started attempting to transform my life, I discovered that there were lots of hidden fears. See few examples

  • Fear that I am being watched / assessed etc – especially in office
  • Fear of what others think of me
  • Fear for change – This really surfaced when I was trying to quit smoking

I have been able to overcome some of them , but I think lot needs to be done. I think there are fears that I haven’t still realized.

In retrospective, it’s obvious that most of these fears have got in to me in the childhood. Society always tries to get things done by fear ; you name it what you want – discipline, deadline …

Is it really necessary to induce these fears or again is it a habit we adults have formed?

2 thoughts on “Fear

  1. shejuan

    you talked about something i was thinking about sometime ago – how “instilling fear” is the way society/people get things done. this is ok among adults till a point but this should *never* be done with children. your story about your daughter was horrifying. sometimes you’d think you will do a better job at educating your child at home than send them to schools. but then again even some parents do it – “eat your food fast or babai will come”, “be good or the policeman will take you away”, “don’t cry or your face will freeze” – you can be as creative as you like. it is entertainment for the adult and a nightmare for the little kid. it is really sad. more so because after we face this as children, most of our adult life is spent chasing the demons from its aftermath. such a waste of energy when we could be doing more useful things if only we hadn’t been taught primal fear when we grew up. if children grew up fearless and with reason and sensitivity (which they are btw, i am sure you know, very capable of) this world would be a much better place.

    btw, nice blog. keep writing.

    1. Sajeev Post author

      You are right. But I think the problem is that these things are so ingrained in to our culture that we do not realise what we are doing. My wife sometimes makes a statement that ‘children should be afraid of someone’ to be disciplined(and you know, that someone is my role. For her this is ancient wisdom…


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