Regarding this article: “Every Moment Is Right: Don’t laugh at my fear. I won’t laugh at yours.”

by Shaun Kieran

I ran across this post and wanted to make a comment.

Every Moment Is Right: Don’t laugh at my fear. I won’t laugh at yours..

This is an example of a sensibility that I used to (sort of) understand. I see it more and more these days, but still respectfully disagree with it as a point of view.  It’s a bridge too far, and contains more anger and harsh judgement than it should.

Most comments to the effect of  “don’t be afraid” are intended in good faith, meant  to be helpful, and are communicating information – not negative judgement.

Managing fear used to be an important social concern, not simply a personal one.  The point was to help community members identify actual danger in the world “out there” – at least as much, if not more, than to validate (or not) someone’s “right” to their own feelings.  It’s almost always conveyed in a way both accepting of the existence of one’s fears, but, yes, also does suggest that fears can be overcome.

It’s just not that horrible, that critical, to have someone suggest, “I don’t think it’s that dangerous. You’ll be OK” The smiling helps reinforce a benign, hopeful message – not a negative judgment.

Ultimately, people will or won’t struggle successfully with their doubts and fears, and being bothered to be bothered by what others say who truly are trying to be helpful is a wasted side trip – and a bit much.

Shaun Kieran

 (207) 767-3864



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