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I recently asked a few people what they would do if they knew that they could not fail. I pondered this question because I wondered what I would be like if I was in that position, but more importantly to discover where I would go and what I would do. Instead I find myself unable to answer the question because it seems to be the type of question that misses the point almost, that fails to understand the nature of achievement and why it has merit.

Put simply I feel that achievement is those things that you acomplish, not free from fear, but inspite of it. It is easy to do things when they are easy, comfortable or require little from you. But when you are on the line, when the breath is quickened and the palms are sweaty, then when one achieves inspite of that, that is when you truly feel or ought to feel that you have done something, that you thought you could not have achieved half an hour ago. That is true sucess.

It brings me on to the role of fear in normal life, and in slight part this is inspired by the Kender Tas from The Dragonlance Chronicles. Those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, can continue on without troubling yourself, but if you have a little time, go read those books. Suffice it to say that the Kender are a race that feel no fear, are indeed incapable of it. I wonder then what a human without fear would be like. He would not be brave, or couragous, these being defined like achievement as being inspite of fear. Instead I feel that such a person would be incredibly reckless and dangerous, they would not understand the majority of people that inhabit this mortal coil, they would take inordinate risk, and endanger others without realising.

But they would also be immune to the effects of fear, and perhaps more true respondents to my question I could not find anywhere else if I were to look in this wide world. To be able to see both sides of an issue, to weigh them up on thier own merits and not your own comforts, to be able to push your boundaries and to try new things, to see the new and the challenging in all things, instead of searching for only the old and familiar and clinging to it with all the stubborness that the will could render. To me this seems to be alive in an amply more vibrant way then I have ever been, nor am I ever likely to feel so alive.

Fear defines us in a way that I don’t feel we understand or respect. We are our fears, we live them out every day, they confirm themselves gain their own momentum, and control us without our ever realising. I don’t wish to portray that I live a life loaded in fear, but I think that sometimes that is more true then I am willing to admit. It is a vast scary world out there, an unexplicable callidoscope of events, images and impressions flit past you everyday, so new so fresh so different, that if you really understood them as that your mind would rebel and your heart quail.

I suppose what I’m saying is that one needs to open your eyes properly. The world is a vast place, full of love and hope, but equally full of fear and loathing, and it is important to realise that they are there, to not forget them in your thoughts, to understand that they do not present themselves in making your judgments but that the aware mind should be wary for their presence and distorting effect. One needs to feel alive, and to live in fear, or in love or in hope alone and not in all, is to be less alive then one should be.

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2 Comments

    • Anonymous
    • Posted June 21, 2005 at 12:38 am
    • Permalink

    “Flowers are blowing in the wind
    And I can see the sun
    Setting on the hill
    It’s just begun
    And the grass is greener than I’ve ever seen
    And this feels to real to be just another dream

    And you say:
    Stand on the edge and don’t be afraid to fall
    And you say:
    Stand on the edge and tomorrow don’t close your eyes
    Take a breath and tell me what you see”

    I agree : fear serves a function. Reality makes us grow.
    You’ve been thinking a lot about love and hope it looks like =)

    – James

  1. Thanks for sharing this information. Really is pack with new knowledge. Keep them coming.


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