February 9, 2007

What are we afraid to do?

Always do what you are afraid to do.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Is it because Ralph Waldo Emerson—among my intellectual heroes—is my favorite that I absolutely love the above quoted sentence, or is it because of the sentence that the great American poet and essayist is my favorite intellectual hero? It’s a tough question, really. Well, perhaps a moot question, and anyway it might not be a major problem for most people ...

The real problem, instead, is perhaps that we are afraid of a lot of things. At least until we get involved with them. As a matter of fact, when this happens, when circumstances put someone in a condition to do something, things might seem to become less dramatic. And you might also realize that if you run away because you are afraid to do something, you pass opportunity by.

Better still, the problem could be described more accurately as laziness than as fear, so that most times we are afraid more of what we are too lazy to do than what we are too cowardly to face.

That is why, in my opinion, the best mental attitude is that which consists in forcing our natural laziness, that is what most of the times make cowards of us all, even and especially when things seem to be going against us.