Tuning the Student Mind

Call to Action,  Notes from the Professor

On Fear

According to Jung, every culture lives by myth. The myths that affect culture most are usually the myths that blend empirical truth with fiction. The truth is, fear is a pretty good short term motivator. Nothing like a shark fin to clear a beach. That said, over time fear can change the way our brain processes emotions and non-verbal cues. Long term exposure to fear produces anxiety and impacts our thinking and decision making in negative ways. Fear leaves us susceptible to intense emotions, impulsive reactions and stress. Living under constant threat weakens our immune system and can cause long term health problems. Despite all these facts, fear as a motivating force remains a convincing myth. That kernel of truth – that we run when scared – maintains the power of the myth. But, myth it is. Fear doesn’t work in the long term.  And, the sooner we give up the myth, the sooner we will be able to create creative high functioning societal environments.