Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fear as an Ally

I was a Trekie for the first half of my life.  Many episodes were thought-provoking and expanded my mind.  A great example is the episode of Voyager in which Captain Janeway confronts Fear incarnate.

The first four scenes establish the background that leads up to the conclusion.  There is a simulated being, called "The Clown" that lives off the fear of those in stasis.  This being would cease to exist once stasis is no longer needed, so he compels the ones who are in stasis to stay, using threats of torture and death to control them.  They are his hostages.

In the last scene, Captain Janeway agrees to enter stasis herself in order to confront Fear, but only if Fear will agree to release the others.

Here's a link to the scene on Youtube.  I hope you'll watch it -- it's my favorite scene featuring my favorite Star Trek character:

The point is that I learned something very important.  We, as complex beings, can experience fear in response to our own thoughts.  If we pay close attention to fear, we can grow.  Our thoughts cannot physically harm us, but they can hold us back from achieving our goals.

So whenever I experience fear going into a situation, such as public speaking or traveling to a distant part of the world, I resist my natural tendency to avoid it.  Instead, I become emboldened and look the situation squarely in the eye.

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