Being chased by a Sabre Toothed Tiger would certainly be very frightening.
Hanging off a cliff trying to snatch giant Eagle eggs, with their mother dive bombing from above would also be a little off putting!
And living within shuffling distance to Glug and his brother Thug is also a concern. Especially when Thug is known to eat Neanderthal Children and Glug has been known to confiscate wife’s.
So, fear is a good thing, yep. It worked well for our cave dwelling ancestors, it kept them alive!
But with the USA, UK and Australia all imploding over recent weeks, do we need to reexamine fear?
Police shootings, gun laws, terrorist attacks, brexit, hung parliaments – all have one common denominator – fear! And man over the centuries haven’t politicians, church leaders, monarchs and soldiers known it. It appears fear is stock and trade of people in power, or aspiring to be in power.
Don’t believe people who tell you conflict is complex, the ‘Troubles’ The Middle East, the Second Gulf War, I believe all had their roots in fear. That when you distill, purify and condense the these conflicts to the core -fear is the catalyst. And in all of the above conflicts we had politicians whipping up this fear into a crescendo.
So what are we going to do about it?
I love science fiction!
And it appears we are actually starting to live in a science fiction world; driver less cars, nano technology and genetic engineering all providing amazing opportunities to enhance people’s lives. But is it time now for geneticists to examine our emotional, physiological and genetic responses to stress, anxiety and fear?
Stress, anxiety and fear served our ancestors well. However, how many of us know someone who lives with serious stress or anxiety? How many of us have known someone who has died from a stress induced heart attack way before their time? Half of my clients have serious anxiety issues and for some it cripples their lives.
If it is good enough to jiggle about with the DNA of corn and insects, is it time to start jiggling about with our DNA? To mute or tone down our response to external stimuli; before we blow ourselves off the planet, or kill every single last human being maybe we should.
So many Science Fiction writers depict a future world where people are serene, where there is little or no conflict, where crime, war and torture are long distant memories. Hats off to these writers, they may be closer to the truth than we appreciate.
Do I really want to fiddle about with our human essence? Hell no!
But what I would like is fear to be addressed by society, for us to have meaningful dialogue on the drivers of conflict, for our leaders to stop using fear as a tool.
Do I think it will make much of a difference? Probably not, because the thing that will probably make us extinct is the the exact same thing which has made us the most successful species on the planet.
Better get back down into the lab.
Kia Ora Roly