What is your greatest fear?
I was 19 when that question was stuck in my head. Looking at in plainly it didn’t seem like a hard to answer. For some people it is death, for some it is insects and for some public speaking (that always reminds me of this Seinfeld Quote)… But what was the greatest fear for anyone. Ofcourse everybody didn’t have exactly one thing/event/whatever that scared them the most, it varied from person to person. I was hell bent on discovering the common thread that held them all together. Eventually I did find the answer.
The greatest fear for most people was that their biggest belief would be proved wrong.
Each one of us build our lives in a slow and steady manner. There are things we absolutely believe in that is placed carefully as the base of our lives… then we build our lives based on these beliefs. Most of the deepest beliefs are almost always taken for granted to be true, making most of the decisions of our lives very dependent on our beliefs. It is when a core belief is proved to be wrong that it drives a person to a whirlpool of pain.
To better explain this, think back to the most painful depressing part of your life and you will realize that it was directly associated with coming to terms that something you believed was wrong(at least at that moment). Most long lasting pain happens because of the shattering of beliefs…
I was so fascinated by this discovery that most of my early writing was almost entirely dedicated to this. My short stories were based on characters whose beliefs are challenged or proven to be wrong and they were pushed to a point of giving in and accepting the truth or forced to rebuild their lives from the rubble of what was their beliefs.
So why talk about this all of a sudden? Well, in the last few weeks I have been talking to a few of my friends who have been going thru a rough patch. I knew how they felt coz I was going thru a tough period myself… All the time we spoke and discussed (mostly vaguely) about why we were in that frame of mind, I realized that it had to do exactly with coming to terms with actions, things and people they believed in.
Sadly finding the reason of the worries do not make the worries go away. There is no simple mantra to walk out of a painful situation and return back to normalcy… if we could do that, then we probably wont be very human. But I believe it helps to know that our beliefs make and break us. It gives us a rational understanding to what makes us emotional about certain things and why we go overboard sometimes defending somethings. I guess its just another step in the path of self discovery.