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Anxiety: our common denominator

2020-03-20  Staff Reporter

Anxiety: our common denominator
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It is a no-brainer that at a slight investigation of our habits and behaviours, laying in our subconscious is a force whose control directs our decisions. This force secretly and greatly controls our minds and influences our decisions, behaviours, as well as their consequences.

For example, as we speak, the corona outbreak has caused a frenzy, and almost every social media platform has been swamped with massive information on either how many deaths so far, how dangerous the virus is or what to do to contain and avoid further transmission. 

Of course, this writing is in no way meant to trivialise the significance of such efforts or ridicule the imminent threat the epidemic presents. The heartfelt intention is to emphasise and raise awareness about how this occurrence brings our deepest fears to the surface and how they are controlling us subconsciously.

At a glance, it looks and feels like our biggest concern at the moment is the spread of the virus itself but what we may not be aware of is that it has also evidently come to expose the most common root cause of our anxiety – the fear of death. It would also not be hard to notice that. When there is so much focus on the death and dangers of corona, very little is mentioned about good progress that has been made, the number of people who were infected but survived and how this can bring hope and calm to the rest of the world – and share the subsequent lessons learned. I mean, should we remain oblivious to the signs that we seem to have been generally programmed with negative sensationalism?

Perhaps the aforementioned scenario is extreme and one may need to use lighter examples to get the message across, though there is no guarantee that the subject matter will be met with little resistance. 
In social interactions with peers and across different age groups, it is often hard to maintain a discourse about the most basic aspects affecting the human psyche. This is most common in cases where one takes the courage to challenge the common beliefs and assertions that may be mere cosmetic cover-ups to disguise man’s most profound fears and anxiety.

For example, mostly on social media, some parents post pictures with their children with a caption ‘my bundle of joy’. However, surprisingly, upon getting to know this parent, one may discover with dismay that such post may be a misrepresentation of the real situation – that the apparent bundle of joy may also at the same time be the root of their constant anxiety and stress. This may be a result of the fact that such baby was unplanned and this may have had curtailed their goals and dreams or there may even be constant baby daddy/mamma issues.

The same could also be said that the weekend fun and boozing sprees we have are cosmetic representations to cover the scars of our anxieties from our constant fears and financial burdens.
 Nonetheless, it is never too late to take a step back and do some intra-personal communication – to do some monitoring and evaluation for better and greater life experiences. And may we, in times like outbreaks like this, see a window of opportunity to remind ourselves of what fundamentally makes us human – and that underneath, we are all just the same; hence, the need to hold hands and march on as one.

OSHIMWENYO is published every Friday in the New Era newspaper with contributions from Karlos Naimwhaka.


2020-03-20  Staff Reporter

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