FEAR: Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the triumph over it! [Nelson Mandela] Can conjured fear become a significant weapon? To flee and to run are not the same thing. There is no worse counselor then fear. Is fear the feeling that one is vulnerable or in immediate or inevitable danger? In our lives, fear can be debilitating if we feel that we cannot escape the cause, and invasive if used by others as a means of control. Should fear ever be used as a justification for violence? In those situations which involve the possibility of violence, rational thoughts should take precedence over raw fear in decision-making processes. If we always react negatively to our fears, do we diminish the chance to surmount them? An increased working knowledge of the world around us serves to abate fears through the explanation of the unknown. Do you face your fears? Do you think rationally before you submit to your fears? As H. L. Meneken once said: “the one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear – fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable”. Do the emotions of dread, dismay, anxiety, foreboding, or alarm affect our health and well-being? What mankind wants above fear is safety, but if we choose to never gamble with our safety for the sake of opportunity, will we ever progress in life? Do we fear that which we are in awe of, and can fear actually be a regrettable belief?
The search for Malaysian Airlines flight 370 has been one of the biggest news stories all over the world since the plane was reported missing by the Malaysian Air Force three days after it had actually failed to land in Beijing. It has been over a month since the search for flight 370 began, and there is growing fear that the plane’s black boxes will soon lack the power to transmit locating signals. Recently, however, officials have reported that two more pings have been detected in the Indian Ocean 1400 miles off the coast of Perth, Australia. This has prompted officials to condense the search to an area about the size of West Virginia. It has also raised hopes that the questions concerning the missing plane will soon be answered. Much speculation concerning the fate of the flight and its 239 passengers has occurred. Did the flight have a mechanical or electrical failure? Is it possible that Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah experienced psychological problems that caused him to pilot the plane to its doom? Was the plane hijacked and made to land somewhere secluded, such as a desert or wilderness area? As mentioned by a former NTSB Director and aviation analyst for CNN, the available radar data suggests that “somebody in the cockpit was directing this plane and directing it away from land,” making “it look as though they were doing it to avoid any kind of detection.” Is it possible that this is why the plane was determined to be so far off course? These questions, along with many others, have fueled the news frenzy that utilizes fear to increase public interest. As a result, news media dilutes the almost certain tragedy of the event: the 239 passengers and crew of flight 370 lost their lives. There is no doubt that the families and friends of the missing deserve all of our thoughts and sincere condolences. Yet, it is more likely that these traumatized families will experience news cameras being shoved in their faces to record the fear and grief for the entire world to see. News outlets know that pain, grief and fear (i.e. especially of the unknown) increases viewership/readership and profit. However, it is also true that news media produces stories in response to public demand. We buy it, so they will keep making it.