Saturday, September 12, 2009

After having the wonderful opportunity to work as a flight attendant for a combined seven years, I learned an interesting thing about fear…they are not always based on logic.

As a novice flight attendant, whenever I encountered a passenger that was experiencing this terror, I would try to allay the fears with statistical logic: more people die in car accidents yearly then in airplane accidents; the percentage of flights that take-off and land safely compared to the ones that don’t; that airplanes are constructed and the crew trained to overcome possible dangers, etc. But what I found was that logic did nothing to stem the terror. When you are afraid, you are afraid and no logic can touch that…monster under the bed, for instance.

Because I do not share this terror, I can afford to look with pity on those who do. But what of my own personal fears…of getting cancer, of being overweight, of making a mistake, of being rejected…and so on and so on. These fears can also be unmasked under the bright light of logic. They, too, will be shown to be based not on logic but, well, on fear.

· Yes, cancer does exist and some things may increase the chances but, how many people do the wrong thing and don’t get cancer; how many don’t do the wrong thing and do?

· I want to feel beautiful but, do thin people have an appreciably better life than those who are “overweight”?

· If we could never make mistakes would we be walking or talking?

· Would I really want to be with someone, or a company, or at a school who did not see the value in us?

According to Socrates courage is the knowledge of what not to fear.

So, what am I afraid of?

Maybe my first bold step will be to look the fears logically and see that the base or foundation is not logic…just fear.

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