Fear is Learned

By Greg Baer M.D.

November 7, 2016

A few days ago I was talking with a young lady, Zoe, who works in a large bookstore. She works in the children’s section, where on the ceiling there was a rotating light fixture whose colors and movement were intended to draw the attention of children. It was large, perhaps six feet across and weighing over four hundred pounds (about two hundred kilos).

She got on a ladder and began to attach some art to the fixture, an action she had performed on many other occasions. As soon as she touched the light, however, it detached from the ceiling and fell to the floor, crushing a chair adjacent to a table meant for reading children.

The massive object made a deafening noise and missed a seated, reading child—about age four—by only a few feet. The child casually looked up to see what had happened and almost immediately returned to his reading.

Nearly every adult I know would have screamed and then created all kinds of drama around this “tragic” and “potentially life-threatening” event. The child, on the other hand, scarcely noticed it, and later I doubt he even reported the event to his parent.

We’re not born afraid. We’re taught, and we’re taught at such a young, impressionable age that we usually stay in that condition for the rest of our lives. With considerable love and guidance from others, however—and with faith on our part—we can learn not to be afraid.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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