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Naked and Afraid

rock climber on orange wallMy fiancé, Karen, loves outdoor reality shows.  Whether it be “Alone,” “Naked and Afraid” or “100 days in the Wild” she is glued to the TV. This is a woman who jumps on the kitchen table at the sight of a centipede or spider.  The ability of the contestants is quite amazing as they adapt to life in the wild.  Realize they are taken by boat or helicopter to the middle of nowhere, dropped off with minimal supplies and no food, expecting a harsh winter to arrive sooner or later.

You’ve been hungry and cold before, but not like these contestants experience.  It’s like a Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers client on a severe crash diet. Little food and shelter are the least of their worries.  Grizzly bears and tigers readily roam the landscape around their primitive shelter. Like our ancestors who had to live in primitive conditions, fear for their life is very real on these shows.

As our standard of living has evolved, we no longer have to live a life of fear.  Our bears and tigers are cute figures at the zoo.  What we managed to do is substitute our fears of bears and tigers for equally dangerous fears. Even worse, our newfound fears are invisible.  Granted some invisible fears are life-threatening, but I wouldn’t want to live next to a nuclear meltdown and that’s invisible.  If I do want my nervous system to be on high alerts, like our pioneer ancestors, I just tune into the nightly news. How’s the health of the anchor people who report this stuff daily?

As a child, I was taught to “Be informed” by my parents.  The city newspaper and the nightly news were the expected sources of the truth.  Could legendary anchor Walter Cronkite ever tell a lie?  Now with the news stories spliced in between pharmaceutical ads, I had to make a decision to go fearless.  I’ve turned my back on fear-mongering and 90% less news works for me.

Dorothy Daly, legendary American journalist, and social activist, who fought for the right for women to vote as well as aid for the homeless was quoted “We will not be drilled into fear.”  Social circumstances may change, but fear doesn’t. Prolonged fear is very destructive. Have faith in yourself and the gifts that are within you.