A conversation with someone who you are getting to know might delve into their biggest fears. A 2014 Washington Post study outlined Americans top 5 worst fears as public speaking, heights, bugs/snakes/animals, drowning, and blood/needles in that order. Public speaking as the worst fear? Wow? It was also an interesting analysis of fear between the political parties, showing that Democrats tend to be more fearful, and that seems to be due to an increased level of education. Ignorance is bliss and bravery apparently.
For me, living in the After Times has redefined what it means to be afraid. I’m still terrified of heights and spiders, and I have my lady fears of being raped or having someone break into my house to kill/rape me, but some very real fears have come in to join the old ones. How much longer will regulations be in place to keep tap water drinkable and all that entails? How many more hurricanes will come next year due to rising ocean temperatures and how much worse with the storm surge be due to rising sea levels? At what point will I not be able to afford to go to any kind of doctor? At what point will I not be able to get women’s health items like birth control for my terrible periods or mammograms later to watch for cancer? When will the housing market get so out of control that we can’t afford to rent, but also don’t qualify for or can’t afford to buy?
It would be very easy to just live my day to day life and ignore these threats. I have a job, I get paid biweekly, we live a little better than paycheck to paycheck, we have insurance, we have things to do that we enjoy. But if I pick my head up to look around, if I watch the news, if I do any research I begin to think about how tenuous all this is and I become very afraid.
There is quite a bit to be afraid of right now if you are paying attention. These are my fears. What are yours?