‘One fear to rule them all, one fear to find them, one fear to bring them all and in the black box bind them.’ This statement from Tolkien’s text (1954) This statement from Tolkien’s text (1954) establishes a good foothold for us to deeply think about ‘why we fear’. We’ve always been afraid of the unknown. Why?

Absence of self-confidence in the universal life environment is the essential reason. According to psychology-based research, we instinctively like to be able to anticipate consequences which, in simpler terms, means that when we fail and fall, we’d like to know where we’re going to land.

The modern society worships progress and preaches it to be an integral part of our lives. However, subconsciously we all believe that the longer something is thought to exist, the better it is recognised. What we as a civilization fail to understand is that resisting the concept of change and constantly doubting the unexplained only worsens the situation because whatever we resist, persists.

We admire and dread change, both, making the concept of change a paradox. Change is an emotional road we must travel to get from where we are now to where we want to be. The road is intimidating, solely since we don’t know where in the unknown we’re going to end up. That’s why the comfort of remaining unchanged substitutes itself for stability.

After a tough and winding day, we choose to return home and console our souls by recreating our favourite food and watching our favourite movie for the hundredth time. We do this because familiarity feels safe and it reminds us that there are things in this vast universe whose ending we know. We establish control over when we’ll pause the movie or when we’ll clean the dishes or when we’ll sleep. It creates a sense of authority in ourselves, claims studies, leading us to believe that remaining unchanged and unbothered is the true form of bliss that humans need most.

On the other hand, we have researchers and scientists who dedicate their lives to understanding and unravelling the unexplored aspects of the universe, ranging from the paranormal to the persistent search for alien culture. The very idea of unintentional ignorance on what lies beyond our galaxy or the real rationale of strange occurrences excites as well as aggravates them. According to various psychology reports, homosapiens have been known for their thirst to know all and greed to dominate knowledge as a whole from the very beginning of their evolution (originating back to homo habilis, the earliest form of humans).

The discussion returns to the burning question; should we embrace the uncertainty of the unknown or uphold a fort of wilful oblivion?

To mature and better ourselves, we must enter the unchartered world. It could be slowly, one task at a time or it could be all at once, like diving into deep waters. We mustn’t be scared of what the future will hold since we can only control the present and living in the moment with no fear is our best attempt at being happy and successful. Braving the unknown can often be an exhausting task and not every day will we find the strength to climb the mountain; and that’s alright. You don’t always have to be courageous, for some days you must bask in the warmth of believing things will turn out fine.

 

– Adya Chauhan, Amity International School, Noida

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