To me that sounds like a dicey prospect.
We have developed fear as a powerful and appropriate tool to help us avoid threat. It's wired into our nervous systems so deeply that we can react to threat with fear and take evasive action without even thinking.
It's innate. It's hardwired, It's essential.
Somehow our macho culture, the patriarchy, white supremacy, has shaped us to shame ourselves around fear. We have honoured and mythologised the fearless warrior for so long that we don't have stories that reflect the reality of courage.
Somehow we are deluding ourselves that fearlessness is the mark of bravery.
Nelson Mandela, a truly brave human, had this to say.
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. Nelson Mandela.
If we were best served, as many of these people seem to suggest, by taking the path of "fearlessness" we might be heading towards an evolutionary cul de sac.
These comments are coming from people who also believe the virus is a big beat up, that the democratically elected leaders of our country who have kept the death rate from covid19 stunningly low are communists who are all wanting to take over our lives, that the vaccine is killing us and that if we all just ate more healthily we would get through this. They are the people who say the death rate is less than two percent and that they would like to take their chances. These are the people that they are not living in fear.
They point to my mask wearing, vaccine taking self as a portrait of fear.
I call projection. I think that their response to think they can outsmart a novel virus (this is a novel virus and our immune systems don't have the forewarning) with nutrition, or vilify and blame the Government for tried and true if hard to endure public health measures is an expression of fear. Fear of things being out of their control. Fear of a loss of quality of life. Fear of a threat so immense and unseen that they are overwhelmed and instead of fearing the virus, they are fearing something they can see, something that represents difference and change. And in some circles, sometimes that is me.
I think we are right to fear a virus that has a death rate of 2% in the population, has proven long term health challenges and is continuing to mutate through communities with low vaccination rates. I think my alarm at the presence of this in the world is an appropriate response.
I don't want to get sick. I don't want my community to get sick. I care about the many people who are likely to be badly impacted by this virus and fearlessness and bravado is not going to save them.
Does that mean i live in fear?
No it means i take the situation, i see the risk to my own health, my family's health and the health of my community and in my alarm at this new presence I am moved to take action. This action means i have changed my previously anti-vaccination stance. This action means i wash my hands when i have been out, i used to relish the chance to give my immune system something to do. This action means i wear a mask, i buckle down in lockdown. I am not living in fear when i make changes like this. I am doing what i am designed to do; assess risk and act accordingly.
When i do this for not only myself but my community i think the likelihood of my evolutionary success is a lot higher than what it would be if i was in "fearlessness" or as i have been calling it in my head "fearlessmess".
It's time we looked at fear as an ally and learned to navigate it with care.