Opinion and Editorial

Not everyone gets your fear, and that’s okay

purva@khaleejtimes.com Filed on February 23, 2021

It’s also ingrained in us that to be afraid of something is a sign of weakness.

Fear, unfortunately, has stood out, amongst other emotions, during the pandemic. And shockingly, at many times for the wrong reasons. A couple of days ago, a friend, who I had not seen for a while casually remarked that we’d been out of touch for I’ve been fearful of Covid-19. My instant reaction to that was an affirmative nod. I’m afraid of the virus, and I’m a witness to its consequences, and those reasons are enough for me to be scared of it.

We’re all scared of something, right? From lizards to dark rooms and heights to horror movies, there’s something out there that makes us angsty, maybe even leaves our hands sweaty and shaky. Or maybe, at times, it just makes us nervous, and at other times it makes us overcautious. And that my friend is the normal human emotion called fear, which sadly happens to be also yet another emotion that we’re often asked to fight back; even when we feel that both mentally and physically, we’re ill-fit to do so at that moment or forever (even). Yes, I’ll go bungee jumping with the safety measures in place, but foremost let me gather the courage to look down from the 10th floor of my building, you get the drift, right? And if I feel I can never look down from that spot, then well let’s leave it at that.

But there’s a lot more to fear than this. It’s also one emotion, which is easily mocked at. “Oh, he is afraid of cockroaches!” says someone, and we all as kids, and even as adults, have a good laugh at another’s expense. It’s also ingrained in us that to be afraid of something is a sign of weakness. As children, we’re told not to be scared of writing down exams, visiting the dentist, even riding roller coasters. As we grow up, we develop newer fears of having our heart broken, losing a job, and suffering from poor health. But we never stop fighting them or defending them. For, that’s what the whole cycle of growing-up is about, after all.

Sadly, what many of us don’t realise about fear is that it is indeed a good thing. It’s programmed in each one of us so that we can react to something that could be dangerous for us. It’s there to protect us, and not to make us weak. I am quite fearless by nature, though I do try not to push myself. At the moment, not many may understand my fear and that is okay.

Allowing yourself to experience and accept whatever state of mind you may be — fearful or courageous ­— is one of the most self-empowering things you can do for yourself. And that is one thing you should stick to. So, if you’re at the moment scared of the pandemic, it’s okay. You can double-mask-up, say no to invites, and not commit to anything that spells danger to you, be it physically buying groceries in a supermarket or attending a birthday party. This is your fear and whilst the other can hold your hand, it’s up to you to signal that you are ready to cross the road.



Purva Grover

Purva Grover is a journalist, poetess, playwright, and stage director. She made her debut as an author, with The Trees Told Me So, a collection of short stories. She is the editor of Young Times, a magazine that empowers the youth in the UAE. She conducts fortnightly writing workshops, author interaction events, open mic sessions, etc. for the writing fraternity in UAE. Her stage productions have been recognised for their boldness, honesty, and unique voice. She is backed with a post-graduate degree in mass communication and literature. Born & brought up in colourful-chaotic India, she writes in English and currently resides in Dubai, UAE. You can stalk her on Instagram @purvagr and say hello to her at purvagrover.com

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