I feel, having reached the ripe age of 50, that I now have a certain amount of experience, knowledge and understanding about how the world works. I can objectively judge a person’s character and I now have enough time behind me that I can remember how our society was and how far we have come.
One of the things that has evolved–to our detriment–has been the loss of fear.
I’m not talking about the fear of the boogeyman. I am talking about the fear from safety.
Let me explain. As I was growing up–I had a lot of fears. I did not see those fears as a bad thing.
I was afraid of strangers–so I never strayed far from my mother and father when in public.
I was afraid of getting sick–so I wore my gloves and my scarf in the cold, an umbrella in the rain.
I was afraid of big dogs–so when I walked home from school with my little sister, I made her cross the street with me so we could avoid the house on the corner with the big german shepherd.
As I got older I was afraid of different things.
I was afraid of failing–so I made sure to study and get the best grades I could–in high school and college.
I was afraid of drugs–so I stayed away from them and anyone that used them–even if it was just “one time”.
I was afraid of being attacked, mugged or abducted–so I made sure to never go out at night by myself.
These fears, to me, were healthy. They kept me safe. And I did not “miss out” on anything.
Kids today, I am finding, have lost their fear. They are not afraid of vicious animals–they instigate them. They do not take care of their health–often walking through the rain in no hurry to get where they are going, or wearing the inappropriate clothes for the weather.
But worse–they are not afraid of strangers talking to them, calling them or connecting with them on the internet.
They are not afraid of drugs, drug users or drug dealers–seeing it as a right of passage.
They are not afraid of guns or violence often running to see what is happening when a serious situation takes place.
They are not afraid to walk around late at night in the dark by themselves.
This new generation has lost their fear–and with it they have lost their safety.
As a middle aged woman now, my new fear is these young people. Not for what may happen to them because of their lack of fear–but for what may happen to us due to their disregard of actions and decisions that keep us all safe in our community.
The loss of fear is hurting our youth and our society. The world around us has not changed that much–it is how we choose to view the threats in our world that has changed. I will chose the healthy fear–every time.