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Kimberly Ann

Program Manager, Atienza Kali

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What is your biggest fear?

What is your biggest fear? Why? What have you done to over come it?

Topics: Hope fear life
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    Aug 14 2013: I have noticed that as I become older, I have fewer and fewer fears. Most of the stuff that people mention on this thread does not seem to matter much.
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      Aug 14 2013: Based on my experience with aging, it gets better and better as we get older Arkady!

      Perhaps we learn that there is nothing to fear, but fear itself? Perhaps we have had very challenging experiences in the life adventure, and we think/feel.....well if I can do that, what else can be too much worse? Perhaps we see more and more that fear and worry uses energy that can be used in a more productive way? Perhaps we have gained some wisdom about what is more, or less important?

      Personally, as I age, one of my favorite mantras sinks in to deeper and deeper levels of understanding and practice because as I have less energy, I want to "spend" it wisely:>)
      "Grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference"
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      Aug 23 2013: "As I become older, I have fewer and fewer fears", its a real rule man
      But as you know this, more you have to fear people who have more experiences of living, since they won't fear what they do to you.
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        Aug 23 2013: Re: "But as you know this, more you have to fear people who have more experiences of living, since they won't fear what they do to you."

        Not really. As I become older, I better understand older people as I go through the same experiences as they have gone through - growing children, aging parents, deaths of closed ones, health issues, work-related stuff, financial and economic problems. I live through economic and political "problems" which younger people have not seen. We fear what we don't know. What we know and understand (or, at least, familiar with), we do not fear. As we get older, we become familiar with more things and experiences. Hence, less fear.
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          Aug 23 2013: The rate of getting experienced is not the same in all people, someone at my age may have a better vision than me, he knows what my fears are, so I have to fear him !

          "We fear what we don't know", its just one kind of fear, most of our fears are from what we know, as an ex., a little kid doesn't know how harmful is fire for him, so he like to play with it, but once he got burnt, once he knows the fire, he has a new fear !
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          Aug 24 2013: I agree Arkady, that as we experience more of life, we are generally able to connect more with compassion and empathy, because we have shared many of the same experiences.

          I agree with you too Mohammad, that "the rate of getting experienced is not the same in all people". We can experience the interconnections, compassion and empathy at any age if we are mindfully aware.

          I also agree with both of you that fears come from what we don't know, as well as what we think we "know".

          I find the best practice, is to "know thyself", which gives us courage and confidence to navigate the life experience whether or not we have internal or external challenges, whether or not we are unfamiliar or familiar with challenges.

          I do not agree Mohammad that we "have to fear" anything. If we travel the life adventure with an open heart and mind, willing to learn and grow with the process, recognizing our interconnections, there is less fear at any age.
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        Aug 25 2013: Mohammad,

        Perhaps, when you say that we have to fear those who know our fears, you mean that when people know our weaknesses, they can exploit them to manipulate us. This is, certainly, true. E.g. when I came to the United States and did not have a green card, I feared a lay-off because my immigration status depended on the employment. When someone fears a divorce too much, this person gives power to the partner for emotional manipulation.

        By having fears, we give power to other people to exploit them. Often, when people realize their power over other people, they are tempted to use and abuse it. I think, this is widely used by media and politicians. E.g. fear of terrorism is exploited to justify wars, military spending, and encroachments on civil liberties. Fear of gun violence is exploited to encroach on civil liberties as well.

        As Coleen mentioned, knowing ourselves and why we fear things is instrumental in getting rid of the fears. I personally also like religious teachings that instruct to worry not about tomorrow, not to get overly attached to things and people, and have faith that there is a power that would take care of us. I understand that there is no evidence for such power and often things turn out badly, but I still find this faith useful.

        Frequently, worry itself makes things worse, like a self-fulfilling prophecy. E.g., when we fear to lose a relationship, we may tolerate abuse and, actually, encourage this abuse letting the other person feel that we would tolerate it. Another example - out of the fear of terrorism, U.S. attacks other countries thus increasing anti-American sentiment in these countries and increasing the likelihood of terrorism against U.S. and increasing public support for it.

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