HOW FEARS HAS CHANGED OVER TIME
If someone claimed to have had no fear in his life, I would advise him to go to a doctor and get treatment.
Fear is born with man, also if at the beginning he only was afraid of his God, omnipotent and capricious, then, as the story went on, fear has proliferated inevitably transforming over time. However, the fear often has been a good weapon to stimulate a positive and healthy reaction
The prehistoric man was afraid of wild animals and natural disasters, while other forms of fears, more vague and irrational, came a little later: the fear of the vacuum or of immensity, the fear of falling, for water, fire, etc..
The passage of time and the arrival of new and unforeseen events led to the emergence of new anxieties, such as the fear of diseases, epidemics (plague, leprosy, syphilis, etc.), and about contagion that continually threatened the life of entire neighborhoods.
The development of science and human knowledge has added new fears to the list, such as the fear of flying, of the lift, of the sea, of closed places, of animals, of “nothing” and of the “unexpected” even.
The eldest Italian persons remember well the “black man“, and the fear it represented when they were children.
The black man was an unreal and grim figure created by our ancestors just to frighten children and avoid their whims. Until a few decades ago, children have grown up with the fear that the black man could arrive suddenly and scare them to death. Without ever knowing who he was or what would have done.
“If you do not stop crying I call the black man!”
Poor and innocent creatures!
Anyway, fear of the dark is everywhere the main one that has always accompanied children growth, as well as the fear of death is common to most of the elderly.
But my question now is: “What are the fears of modern man?”
Or how fear has changed over time?
If fear is proper to man, no doubt it is also son of the times and circumstances.
To the fear of epidemics of the past centuries, we may associate the fear of AIDS or of avian epidemic had a few years ago, for example. The fear of the black man, instead, may have been replaced by fear of terrorists or of different cultures.
To the ancient fear of God we can associate the fear of the “existential vacuum.”
Today, it is believed in everything and to the opposite of everything, while everything has lost its real value.
The pursuit of material goods and a life lived in comfort, has led to a lack of imagination and a cultural standardization. In today’s society, which changes fast, the roles no longer exist.
New fears, sometimes unjustified, arise and spread over, while those atavistic and irrational ones magnify at the level of widespread panic. There is the fear of crowds, of a different religion, of war and tyranny, as well as the fear of environmental catastrophes, of crime and poverty.
Then there is the fear that comes from fear itself, as the race for power.
“You build a bomb from 2 kilotons and I am forced to make one of four.”
“The society did not give me anything and so I take from others! ”
It’s lacking faith in man and in neighbor, thus trust and love.
Man who is afraid of his fellow creature.
The terror and the great disasters which we often have experienced as spectators so far, have marked our souls and feed our fears. Once, the fear of the dark and of the black man helped growth and awareness, giving certainty and self-confidence.
The fears of today, instead, kill your confidence, sadden and make us weak and asocial.
I feel sorry for future generations, but in this chaos I do not think that there is still, in short, a way of escape.