Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fear and Aggression....the dark side, are they?


R
ecently I read a blog post railing against the lack of willingness to stand up for others in modern society. Too often, this observation proves widespread. I myself experienced something similar a long time ago, and regret not acting to this day.

Most of this, I speculate, comes from a culture of individualism....and a lack of confrontation. We are sorely lacking in aggressive quality these days. This is not to say we should have more anger and violence; rather, we need to improve everyone's quality of life by introducing a little bit of healthy fear into the mix.

For example, I avoid cobras when possible, as they tend to strike fatally when provoked. This is not a crippling fear, but rather a fear that guides my behavior for my (and the cobra's) safety. Not all fear is bad, no matter what our illustrious long-lost President said.

We must be willing to step in and do what's right, and aggression is necessary for that. Pacifism only works when everyone is pacifist. This isn't just walking around the streets defending little girls from thugs, either - standing up for someone's idea in the office when the office bull-head is beating it down for no good reason is JUST as relevant.

So next time you find yourself in a position to save someone, do it. Don't think about it. Just do it.

2 comments:

zakstar said...

Ben,
I see my post stuck with you.

Another issue besides fear, is the crippling need to be politically correct.

I grew up playing tag and duck-duck-goose, childhood games that are increasingly banned in school yards because they "stigmatize" the one who's "it"

An obese woman just lodged a complaint against her doctor because he pointed out the her obesity was going to effect her quality and length of life
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9077164/

If we can't have open conversations about difficult topics, how can we expect anything to change for the better.

Off my soapbox now.

zak

Ben Overmyer said...

Very true. American society has gotten way too sensitive; what we really need is an entire generation that grows up confident, not coddled.

I grew up playing playground dodgeball. We got bruises the size of grapefruit from that, and none of my teachers cared. The funny thing is, neither did the students, nor the parents. I think we grew up just a hair tougher (and better) for it.

Children can be cruel. It's a permanent and natural part of growing up - we aren't born knowing how to be tactful or how to supersede our own selfish desires. Trying to ban that is like trying to ban sports because some players are better than others.