The mouse, the sex embargo, and winter storms are probably all linked, I could throw into this mix The Daily Mail (UK tabloid), diet programmes, trade unions, nuclear weapons, and many other things.
Zoophobia – let’s put cockroaches and spiders into this category with our mouse. I don’t need to go into definitions and explanations. However, let’s just stop and think about it: Small things which move quickly, which apparently can’t harm us, yet we are scared of them. We fear something which is relatively harmless. We find it difficult to overcome an inherited response. I wonder how that may apply when a person introduces change to our organisation, or when someone suggests that we change the way we live ?
The Sex Embargo.
The play Lysistrata by Aristophanes was banned in the US in 1873, and banned in Greece in 1967. This play is very funny (if you’re yet to see it I recommend checking it out). However, why ban it ? why is it so dangerous ?
Well, the play contains a very dangerous idea…, in the play the women of Greece decide to withhold sex from men until they negotiate a peaceful end to a war. What a dangerous idea ! Negotiate peace so that we can make love not war ! How dangerous is that ?!
All media bans are based on fear, at least in part based on fear. How can we start to understand each other if we fear even having a discussion of our different starting points ?
The Winter Storms.
N.America and Europe have endured some extraordinary weather this winter. Some may say this is evidence of human caused climate change. Yet we still have a heap load of climate change deniers out there who take great joy in meddling with the statistics and the causational inference of the arguments. Why are these people so strongly motivated to argue against the weight of scientific evidence ? Well, I think that fear may be a part of their issue. Fear of something that seems to have got out of control, fear of the unknown, fear of having to moderate lifestyle, fear of losing some of their power.
The mouse, the sex ban and winter storms are all linked by fear.
Fear, as one of the most useful inherited adaptive responses, can also be one of the most corrosive emotions if we are to move forward as individuals, organisations, and cultures.
Fear turns liberals into conservatives, this has been demonstrated under experimental conditions: great articles here.
At an earlier stage in my life I was involved in initiating change, and I used to come across a lot of fear based behaviour, and all of these fears would quickly lead to strongly entrenched conservatism (which in it’s worst form can become reactionary). Fear often comes out as aggression, a classic defence mechanism.
If we don’t address our fears we can become immobile, uncreative and regressive.
By overcoming our fears we can start to talk to each other, find new understandings, and start to find new ways of doing things.
What do you fear today ?
How are you going to face up to it ?
How are you going to make that fear go away ?
What will the world look like when the fear has gone away ?