OK, we all know that racism one of the main causes is fear. A fear of someone coming into your territory who does not look like you, or act like you, and you think they are out to destroy your way of life, and the way you live. So fear is sadly a driving factor in our lives, we let it make us do stupid things like discriminate, and be bigoted against people who if we did not have fear inside of us, we would not care what they looked like, as long as they where nice to us. I wonder what makes America such a fearful country? We fear our own shadow. But all societies have fear, i am gonna examine in this blog, what causes fear, and what we might be able to do, to reduce our fear, and help get over some of our fears.
From how stuff works:
Fear is a chain reaction in the brain that starts with a stressful stimulus and ends with the release of chemicals that cause a racing heart, fast breathing and energized muscles, among other things, also known as the fight-or-flight response. The stimulus could be a spider, a knife at your throat, an auditorium full of people waiting for you to speak or the sudden thud of your front door against the door frame.
So in other words we all have chemicals in our body that cause us to fear, now what makes us fear different things i do not know so i think we need to learn what makes us fear something, for me it i have a fear of bumble bees, but for me it has to do with the fact that i am allergic to bee stings. Some people are afraid of heights, and some are afraid of bugs.
From the same article:
The brain is a profoundly complex organ. More than 100 billion nerve cells comprise an intricate network of communications that is the starting point of everything we sense, think and do. Some of these communications lead to conscious thought and action, while others produce autonomic responses. The fear response is almost entirely autonomic: We don’t consciously trigger it or even know what’s going on until it has run its course.
Thalamus – decides where to send incoming sensory data (from eyes, ears, mouth, skin)
Sensory cortex – interprets sensory data
Hippocampus – stores and retrieves conscious memories; processes sets of stimuli to establish context
Amygdala – decodes emotions; determines possible threat; stores fear memories
Hypothalamus – activates “fight or flight” response
The process of creating fear begins with a scary stimulus and ends with the fight-or-flight response. But there are at least two paths between the start and the end of the process. In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at how fear is created.
More from how stuff works:
The process of creating fear takes place in the brain and is entirely unconscious. There are two paths involved in the fear response: The low road is quick and messy, while the high road takes more time and delivers a more precise interpretation of events. Both processes are happening simultaneously.
The idea behind the low road is “take no chances.” If the front door to your home is suddenly knocking against the frame, it could be the wind. It could also be a burglar trying to get in. It’s far less dangerous to assume it’s a burglar and have it turn out to be the wind than to assume it’s the wind and have it turn out to be a burglar. The low road shoots first and asks questions later. The process looks like this:
Too bad i cannot show the picture, but this does give you an idea of what makes us fearful, and our reactions, maybe if we learn to use the high level, that even when our fear levels are pumping we need to use our brain more to get a high road response, that we should not make a hasty decision, or do something we regret, maybe it is the amount of fluid that pumps into our brain that causes us to react the way we do. Maybe it is our fear of failing, and we do not know how to handle all of this stress, maybe if we are in a more relaxed environment we would not make hasty decisions, and we would not fear people who look different.
Maybe it is the media that makes us fearful? I mean think about it, you come home from work, and what do you see? Images of murder, crime, war, hunger, and we see all different races committing crimes, and genders, and that can take a toll on people, we start to think badly of a race, or gender, and it is drilled into our heads by books, tv, etc. I mean i know the media does not make us commit violent acts, but seeing all that negativity can take a toll on you, it does me even, i just tune out the tv. And people are like books? I mean the books you read, some books like Glen Beck promote fear, and that can play on you, try to read books weather it is fiction, or non fiction that are more honest, and critical in thinking, and not a book about bombastic points of view. That is how Limbaugh, and Beck get their viewers is by playing on their fears of feminism, illegal immigrants, so tune them out, and read a more critical thinking author.
Fear is a driving force that can make us make a decision we will regret later. Why can some individuals make rash decisions, and others make a more controlled, and critical response? Maybe some people just have more control over their emotions, but even more curious is what makes us decide on what to fear? I think it just has to do with life experience, and also what people have been taught, our brain just absorbs what we see, and what we are taught. So maybe parents should not teach their kids to hate, or fear another race, or whatever. And maybe that has something to do with it, we have our head filled with hate, and that turns into fear, instinct kicks in, and our survival instincts takes over rational thought.
All we can do is try to overcome our fears, and what makes us a fearful nation, or world. We should not fear the person next to us, who looks different, or talks different, or acts different than we do. Or a culture that is different from ours, or even when fear is justified, like when someone tries to attack us, we need to think better so we can make better decisions, so that way we will not end up dead, i mean it sounds silly, but that is the difference between people who escape a dangerous situation, and those who end up dead.
It is ok to be afraid, but the problem with too many humans is we overreact too much, and that might be our undoing, to be afraid of a scary movie, a good scary movie, or a dangerous situation is ok, but to just be afraid all the time, which some people seem to be, is completely unhealthy, fear is a natural, and healthy emotion that is in our human nature to want to protect ourselves, but a lot of people are so fearful of immigrants, different races, people who think different, no wonder the Glen Beck tin foil hat society is popular, old captain crazy bags feeds into people’s fear, if people would not be so fearful, that clown would not be making no money, rich evangelist, and kooks like Beck, and Limbaugh play off the fear that the right wing people have or different colored skin people, and ideologies that do not mesh with their own. Implanting this kind of fear in people can make them do something drastic, that they would not do under normal circumstances.
So what can we do? Well, we can learn more about different cultures, and get to know people of different races, religions, etc, and find out that these people are just like us, only well, different, that will help ease our fears of people who do not look like us being accepted into our society, parents, and teachers need to quit teaching children fear, that is what helps contribute to making a more fearful society, but remember we will always have our moments when we are afraid, we need to try and take the high road approach, and try to think, and use reason when a moment of fear strikes, although that is easier said than done.