By Raju Mandhyan
IT HAS TAKEN me a while to gather up courage to put down the first few words for this article. I was afraid that people may find it too philosophical, too New Age wisdom or the stuff that Pop Psychology is made up of. The thing that made me get off the fence of indecision was the realization that it was not just the fact that I was fearful of writing about fear but also, to a much larger extent, exposing my own fears; exposing my own vulnerabilities and my softer underbelly. Anyway, now that I have jumped off, let’s fly and hope I land safely.
No, money is not the root of all evil. Wanting it in excess and hoarding it purposelessly might be the causes of doing evil things but it, definitely, is not the root of all evil. If it were the root of all evil then there would have been no evil in the ages when there was no such thing called money. Money, in reality, is just a scorecard of your successes. Sometimes, it continues to score well for people even when they do not play the game of life by ethical rules. And, the reason people do not play the game of life ethically is because they are afraid. They are filled with fears unexplained. In my life, I think about those people that I feel may have wronged me. Then I think about them deeply and compassionately and am able to see their frailties and their fears. The process helps me become forgiving and fearless.
Gandhi claimed that hatred is the root of all evil. Maybe so, but hatred is an accumulation of dislikes, disappointments and distrust. Dislikes, disappointments and distrust are all aspects of fear. We dislike others that may not be similar to us and we fear because they are different they cause us trouble and harm. Still, fear is the root cause. We distrust others because we are in fear of our future welfare and wellbeing when working or dealing with them. Still the root cause is fear. A parent is possessive of her offspring because she is afraid that they might fly out of the nest and she will be left alone. A manager is controlling of his staff because he is afraid they may outgrow him. Driven by these fears we go beyond simple caution but take stronger action which, usually, generates not so happy results which ferment into evil.
Yet beyond our unfounded fear lay newer and brighter horizons. Centuries ago, Plato claimed that “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of light.” And, he was and still is right. Parents, partners and spouses at the heart-core level know opening up doors for others to grow and go brings us our own freedom. When we hold others down, we too are stalled from moving and growing. Holding down, stalling, playing mind games are all manifestations of fear and they all breed and fester evil. The most malignant output of this inhuman behavior is that we also hold down, stall and sabotage or own creative outputs, our own creative potential.
First, Jim Morrison with his statement, “Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free,” nailed it right. Then comes along Marianne Williamson with her “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us,” drove the point home. In all that we think, say and do, we ought to take a moment to think about where is that thought, where are those words and actions coming from. What exactly is causing to think, say and do things that breed and foster evil over time? Taking a moment to step back, to think with courage and then act will not prevent us from making mistakes or causing damage but it will help us in lessening pre-meditated expressions and actions which create evil end-results.
Overcoming unfounded fears will unleash our fullest potential. It will move us from feelings of helplessness and weakness into feelings of strength and personal liberation. At work, as in life, coming from courage will help us take bolder steps into empowering others and achieving greater personal success.
Raju Mandhyan is an author, coach and speaker.