What are you afraid of? We’re facing a fear epidemic in America, and it’s not just due to the coronavirus.  In this episode, Arthur and Ceci take a deep dive into fear—including how to understand, manage, and even neutralize it. Most importantly, Arthur shares some actionable tips for building your defenses against fear and learning to love and live courageously.

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References and further reading:

Love Is Medicine for Fear | Arthur Brooks

Fear Can Make You a Better Person | Arthur Brooks

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  1. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos

    I did not find the notion about a decline in defenses against fear persuasive.  It seems more like the problem is a warped notion of safety as if there were a fundamental right to a time-out, an insulated personal space, and a general right to eschew risk and danger whenever we choose. Fear then becomes a habit that serves misguided needs.

    More than the growth of fear per se, there is a pervasive resentment that dangers (including inconveniences) are permitted to exist even after we have expressly wished them to go away.  Most of our political psychodramas (climate, race, sex) involve an alleged perception of a (greatly exaggerated) risk of physical or emotional harm followed by a tantrum that this danger is permitted to exist.  Ideas that complicate simple narratives (especially narratives that feed these kinds of resentments) are also to be feared.

    Unlike real revolutionaries who actually expect a bullet, truncheon, or noose, our current marxoid street warriors actually whine that police might impose (distinctly non-lethal) consequences.  The appearance of Antifa mommies in Portland standing in front of the “demonstrators” to demand that the police not be mean to them is almost beyond parody. 

    Demanding the absence of consequences or adverse outcome of any kind is the whole point of the prevailing resentments on campus.  That is soul-killing.  The pursuit of a risk-free existence cripples character.  The potentially winning jump shot, 18-foot putt, or cavalry charge has value, excitement, and deep satisfaction precisely because of the risks.  Walking across the room to speak to the prettiest girl there, delivering a joke to an audience, starting a business, surgically opening a human body, or addressing a jury all carry risks as does driving a car or walking.  Maybe there are some who think they would find that living in a comfy germ-free terrarium on an alien spaceship preferable to the everyday dangers of life but I doubt any of us are really that removed from our own humanity.

    Once we are psychologically incapable of acceptance of pain and risk, we become incompetent with respect to conducting human life and must instead fear everything and anything we have chosen not to accept.


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