It’s great to see people conquer their fears and bravely tread their paths unafraid of anything. There’s absolutely no problem with that. Where really lies the problem is when they are unafraid of even God Almighty. The sentiment, ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ has replaced ‘use the rod and instill fear in the child.’ I am not in favor of either of these sentiments, I believe we should take the middle path; some bit of Fear is good and keeps the human race in check. A fearless society need not necessarily lead to a happy society and instead could end up turning rogue.

Here are some instances where lack of fear wreaks havoc.

Fearless instances that wreak havoc

No fear of law – This phenomenon is evident in societies where the punishment is not harsh for breaking rules. From violating traffic rules, stealing, cheating people to committing crimes towards women, the list is endless. People tend to take things for granted and are warped in their sense of right and wrong. To curb these negative elements, it is a necessity to instill fear in the form of fines, punishments, and public humiliation. Fine all the vehicles on the wrong side, blocking the opposite side vehicles on a two-way street and see how they never do it again, changing their attitude of ‘it’s alright, everything is fair’ (in India this attitude is called ‘chalta hai’).

Levy harsh punishment for the rapists so much so that even the thought of committing the heinous crime shakes one with fear.

No fear of hurting others’ feelings – Being considerate and empathetic towards your fellowmen would give rise to a benevolent society. Deliberately hurting others and being vicious would only make the world a bitter place.

No fear of disrespectful behavior – This behavior needs to be checked as early as in childhood; like the saying goes, ‘nip it in the bud.’ One must reprimand a child’s disrespectful attitude, may it be towards food, books, things and most importantly towards people. He or she for sure would grow up into a fine and courteous human being.

No fear of one’s own safety – There sure is victory beyond your fear but one has to be prudent enough to take calculated risks in life. Jumping off a cliff with a rope is daring but jumping off it without a safety net is foolishness. You are only risking your own safety and well being in the process.

No fear of breaking a commitment – This one is extremely relevant in today’s changing modern times. No one has the time to listen to anyone; everyone is busy with their lives and has turned selfish and ruthlessly practical in their lives. Keeping a promise or a commitment is passé. Too many excuses and busy lifestyles have eroded one’s sincerity towards honoring his or her commitments. As the saying goes, ‘a man is only as good as his word’.

Tame the menace

Live to be free, uninhibited and brave in pursuing your dreams and ambitions but be empathetic, considerate and careful while on the path. Be a delight and not a menace on your way to success. I leave you with a quote by Martin Luther King: Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.