Fear is an excellent motivation tool. It exerts pressure on a person to act against their normal will. It gets the job done quickly, too.
Parents use fear to encourage certain behaviour (the example I use here is likely offensive to today’s parents, but you get the idea):
Even very young children need to be informed about dying. Explain the concept of death very carefully to your child. This will make threatening him with it much more effective.
– P.J. O’Rourke –
Even grown children can be fearful of what a parent might do:
My parents did a really scary thing recently. They bought a Winnebago. This means they can pull up in front of my house anytime now and just live there.
– Paula Poundstone –
Governments and Media use fear on a daily basis:
By keeping the population in a state of artificially heightened apprehension, the government-cum-media prepares the ground for planting specific measures of taxation, regulation, surveillance, reporting, and other invasions of the people’s wealth, privacy, and freedoms.
– Robert Higgs (Fear: The Foundation of Every Government’s Power) –
The Business Pundit goes so far as to list 25 People and Industries that Profit from Fear. You shouldn’t be surprised to find the Beauty Industry listed there…
My age group are particularly vulnerable to fear tactics. Have you watched the Insurance commercials on TV? The ones that are trying to convince seniors that they should buy life insurance to protect their grown children from the diminished value of an estate depleted by… insurance premiums, I think. Seems to me the only ones who need protection are the seniors and that is from the insurance companies. These vultures know that statistically they will get more money in premiums from the senior than they will ever pay out to the senior’s estates.
The last and greatest fear, is of course, the Fear of Impending Death. I have heard this expressed by many senior age bloggers who lament that the greater part of their lives is past. Their future doesn’t look as rosy as it once did because there are far fewer days left.
Sorry if you feel that way, but I think you need to get your time clock reset. You have just as many days left now as you had when you were any other age – which is exactly one day – if all goes well. That is it. Just one day, and that is this one. You have a pretty good idea about what will transpire today, unless something happens to end it all. You have absolutely no guarantee what will happen tomorrow, nor tomorrow tomorrow. And you have never known that.
That is not to say you shouldn’t plan for your future. Because you should. But plan a good future, not a crappy one based on the fears passed on to you by everything you hear and read in the media.
So, get out there and “Have a Nice Day”. The phrase isn’t as trite as it sounds, is it?