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When Fear Always Seems to be the Answer

Less than 2 weeks ago, 50 people were shot inside an Orlando, FL, nightclub.

A few days before that, “The Voice” finalist Christina Grimmie was shot to death after her Atlanta concert.

About a day before that, a large alligator who decided to try to cross a busy thru-way during rush hour was shot and killed “for public safety.”

And just a week before that shooting, Harambe the silverback gorilla was shot and killed when a small boy fell into his enclosure.

A few weeks prior to that, a young pre-med student was killed by a homeless teen at my alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin.

Everywhere I look, everything I read, it is there again. This news. This horror. The terror. The killing. The seemingly senseless, ongoing rampage, one horrific act after another after another.

Sometimes when I read the news, I can hear myself asking – out loud – “Why??”

Why do this? Why do that? What purpose could there be? What on earth for?

I tell myself I should stop reading the news feed on my Facebook page. But whenever I’ve tried that, I just hear about it from other people’s posts or from my friends who tell me or from other sources anyway.

Plus, I am here. I am part of this world. I care. I need to know. I need to do my part.

But the “why” of it all haunts me. 

What is the point? Does anyone think this stuff through? IS there a point? Surely there must have been another way…..

The only answer I ever get to these extended self-debates is FEAR.

Fear is the foundation.

Fear is what turns into anger, rage, aggression and violence in some.

Fear is what turns others inward towards self-harm, isolation, suicide.

Fear is in all of us – fear is in me.

Fear is in great beings.

Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke a lot about fear. But when he did, his vision included little black kids and little white kids holding hands.

Mother Teresa’s greatest fear was that the God she served so selflessly didn’t even exist.

When asked about his greatest fears, the Dalai Lama mentions being “eaten by sharks” (on account of never having learned how to swim).

Fear is woven into the fabric of our individuality and our connectedness. Perhaps in this way it is an odd kind of mentor come bearing a nearly impossible lesson that, if mastered, holds the key to the end of this terror-laced life as we know it.

And perhaps it is for this reason, most of all, that I find it so impossible to believe we persist in letting our common fear push apart instead of coming together to overcome fear itself – once and for all.

Today’s TakeawayHow do you process the heavy news we often hear from our local and international communities? What is your take on what part fear plays in that? Do you think it might ever be possible to see our fear as something we all have in common rather than something that drives us apart?

When Fear Always Seems to be the Answer

Shannon Cutts

Freelance writer. Author. Cockatiel, redfoot tortoise & box turtle mama.

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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2016). When Fear Always Seems to be the Answer. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 28, 2020, from


Last updated: 11 Sep 2016
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