By Abhinav School

Fear is a terrible sensation; one we never ever want to feel. How lucky are we to live in a time and place where it’s so often possible to avoid the things that scare us most:
violence, disease, natural disasters, dangerous animals and at last until the very end- death. Instead we get to sit around on our widening behinds watching television shows about violence, disease, natural disaster, dangerous animals and death. I noticed a long time ago that fear often comes packaged. We don’t look away from accidents or guns, we give them our attention. This tendency has obvious evolutionary advantage-it’s safer to keep deadly objects in front of our mind than to ignore them and as a result our brains seems to be hardwired so that scary experiences contain a hidden fascination and fascinating experiences are often scary. In fact, I’d argue that there’s a direct correlation between the intensity of our fear and the degree of our fascination. Murder yanks our attention harder than heart disease and an earthquake is more interesting than a bad sunburn. This applies even at the more lower than fear levels that characterize most of our lives. Think T.V. dramas arguments are more attention grabbing than agreement, the path of true love is more interesting when it’s forbidden and dangerous than when it runs smoothly. One way to put more zest into your life , is to seek activities or situations where fear and fascination overlap. The problem is when facing such situations ,we often advance towards it and then retreat from whatever has captured our attention .But with a little clarity and a few instructions, you can break through. This kind of ambivalence, embracing experiences that alarm you even as they deeply appeal to you. Like salting bland food, this can turn your life from dull to delicious. A good way to find a fear that is both fascinating and nontoxic is to choose something that will make a positive impact on the world. Constructive and creative activities, like taking medicines to war zones can be downright terrifying.

– Suyog Thigale VII