By Thangjam Yumjao Meitei
We pay the price of fear and worry to live the life of a human being. Our susceptibility to anxiety is the root cause of all our problems.
Fear and worry seem to be part and parcel of human life. One who is immersed in the mundane world is not free from these unpleasant mental stresses.
What and why do people worry about? Their worries are due to various commitments and responsibilities they have. Their worries come in many various guises. They feel inadequate when they compare themselves with others. ‘May beI’m not good enough to do that job’ or ‘I don’t think that I’m clever enough to make an impact.’ They may be afraid to be themselves as they really are in the presence of others, so they end up to themselves ; ‘ I can’t let people get to know me as I am really am. If I do so, they may lose confidence in me or belittle me.’ So they act and pretend to be someone else when in fact they are not.
People worry a lot about their physical appearances. Men worry when they become bold headed while women worry when wrinkles start to appear on their faces, or when they are too thin or too fat, too dark or too fair, too tall or too short and so on and so forth.
They are afraid of being criticized, attack by others or censured by their superiors. They are afraid to present their ideas before a crowd for fear of being ridiculed, but feel angry with themselves, whenever someone else presents the same idea and gets credit for it. They feel they are being hampered by criticisms, even when they know that such criticisms are underserved and unsatisfied.
They are worried about their families. ‘Maybe I’m not such a good father/mother/daughter after all.’ Some husband worry that their pretty young wives may go out with other men. At the same time some wives may worry that their young handsome husbands may leave them or spent their time with other girls. Unmarried people worry about how to get married while some married couples may worry about how lonely they are without children. On the other hand, those who have many children, constantly worry how best to bring them up; ‘ Maybe my wife/husband no longer loves me and may desert me’ or ‘ I wonder how my children will take care of me in my old age.’ Some parents worry unnecessarily over the safety of their children, having enough money for their daily household expenses, the security in their home and the heath of their love ones.
In their work place, they may have to face problems in carrying out assignments and have difficulties in making decision. ‘What if my decision proves to be wrong?’ ‘Should I sell my stocks and share now or later?’ ‘Can my workers be trusted with money or will they cheat the company during my absence? Some are worried about possible losses, of not getting a promotion or being entrusted with too many responsibilities. Some others worry thinking that their office mates are jealous of them.
In fact, the list of worries people face daily would be endless. Human existence is full of worries and fear which lurk within the dark inner corners of the mind. Man has so many fears – fear arising from insecurity, fear from enemies, fear from hunger , fear of sickness , fear of loss of wealth and possessions, fear of old age, fear of death and fear of the next existence.
Not only does he worry and fear whenever things go wrong, he or she becomes worried even when things go on smoothly! He conjures vague sense of fear in his mind that suddenly something may go wrong and that the happiness he or she now enjoys might turn to sorrow. Although some people say, no news means good news, people worry when there is no news. Such unfounded worries fill their life with undue fear. Such form of wretchedness befalls all mankind. And none are free from this except those who are perfect or pure in their minds.
(The writer a vocalist of a Rock Band called ‘KARUNA’, a lay Buddist and a Social Activist of People Who Use Drugs (PUDs))