What are the FIVE THINGS that people are MOST fearful/apprehensive of? Why?
1. Other religions. Before the 1960s there was some animosity between Catholics and Protestants in many countries. Prohibition in the USA factored into this. Many Catholics coming to the USA from the 1890s onward had firm beliefs and customs involving alcohol that clashed with the strongly local Protestant movement to either ban or make drinking alcohol less available. There were of course German immigrants that were into celebrating with lager who were mostly Lutheran Protestant but mainly the new arrivals from Europe were Catholic. During this period there was a rise in numbers of the KKK who thought of themselves as southern Protestants. They were against alcohol consumption. In the end the wets won out nationwide because Prohibition turned out to be unworkable over the long haul or at least the way it was worked out. I grew up in the 1960s at a time when it was easy to be friends with Catholics, Protestants, Atheists and Agnostics. The biggest fear I have is that we have Muslims pushing for change most of us do not want hence old animosities returning. We want women to dress the way they want to on our beaches. We don't want to think about religion of any kind when working. We prefer that there be a separation between religion and state so that all may be free.
2. Taxes. Australians are probably one of the most overtaxed people in the world.
3. Death. Here religion of any sort usually comes into its own and why more Agnostics than out and out Atheists.
4. War. Whether it be war elsewhere involving our people or war in our own streets it still frightens.
5. Sickness. In countries where health care and work insurance is inadequate this can lead to homelessness even after a cure has been found and applied.
#1 Death. Most people if they are honest have at least some degree of anxiety about what lies beyond this physical existence. No matter how much one believes that the soul carries on etc., there is still a fear of the unknown.
#2 The Unknown. Beyond the biggie death, many people settle in life for things that are just "ok" because they are comfortable. Taking risks or doing something different from what we are conditioned to do creates a fear response. It's not easy to take a risk. Those who succeed in life work through their fears, but those fears exist.
#3 Abandonment/Loneliness. I know several people who have for example remained in unhappy marriages because they feared being alone. They'd rather endure abuse and misery than be by themselves.
#4 The Dark. Even as an adult, many people find being in a pitch black room disconcerting at best and terrifying at worst. There's something about that disconnection from our senses and being enveloped in dark. I think it's kind of cool now, but I was terrified of the dark well into adulthood.
#5 People who are different! Religion, race, politics, socioeconomic class - whatever it is, people tend to fear those who are not like themselves. Many I think work to overcome this and embrace the differences in others, but many others do not and it leads to all the woes of the world. When this fear goes to its darkest place it turns to hatred and violence, terrorism, war, lack of empathy for the world around us etc.
(1) Becoming old. Although there are changing & more positive paradigms regarding becoming old, the prospect of becoming old fills many people with dread. Many believe that old age is the beginning of declination physically & mentally which ends in the ultimate declination-death.
(2) Becoming poor & homeless. With the precarious socioeconomic situation nowadays, most people are from one and a half to one paycheck away from poverty & homelessness. More and more people are struggling to remain socioeconomically solvent. Many in the middle class are becoming the new poor. There are some people who have went from middle class into poverty, even homelessness. People fear becoming poor & homeless because this means being vulnerable & on the societal periphery. To them, poverty &/or homeless is equated with utter powerlessness.
(3) Hell. Yes, believe it or not, there ARE some people who fear that when they die, they will go to hell because they contend that their lives were less than perfect. They believe that in order to go to heaven, one must have a perfect or as near perfect life as possible. They fear hell because they contend that it is analogous to an eternal prison sentence with NO chance of parole.
(4) Being different. People love nothing better than social approval & to be liked. They conform to & follow the majority consensus because they want to be belong. To these people, being different is the kiss of societal death. Being different means being ostracized, even marginalized by those whom they hold dear &/or seek approval from. Being different also means being alone & most people dread this most of all.
(5) Death. People are fearful of death for many reasons. For many, they do not want to live this beautiful life. They have enjoyed life so much that they do not want it to end. They view death as the end of what they cherish. For others, death is the GREAT UNKNOWN. They are fearful of the other side & what to expect once they are dead. A few fear that there will be a complete cessation of any form of their consciousness after they die. Some fear death because they fear going to hell.
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