• July 10th, 2020

The fear of change and the unknown – Friend or foe?



There is no doubt that one of man’s common fear is the fear of the unknown. This fear has a great influence on almost every decision we make daily. These include decisions on finances, which route to take to wherever and who to spend the rest of our lives with.
Over the years, so much has also been said about change and how great it is. In fact, it is one of the things that are easier said than done. Because change may mean giving up things that we have become accustomed and attached to, it may also mean a great discomfort, as it may come with greater challenges and fear of the unknown. For example, giving up a habit that has been constant over a long period may take a long while to change. It may also require one to take small incremental steps, rather than making an abrupt change. But that would also depend on the strength of the will or desire to change.

What would often make change a drag would be the fact that the benefits or rewards for such change may not be immediate. This will mostly be a challenge if there is no understanding of the bigger picture and lasting benefits in the long-term reward.
From face value, the fear of the unknown and change may seem uncommon. But with closer examination, it could be that most people would probably not be doing what they are doing today if it were not for the fear of the unknown. Most people would also not live the life they live today if it were not for that fear.  

For example, waking up every morning to go to work and make sure we are on time does not necessarily mean we love our job. There may be love for a job, especially if it is also our passion, but to a larger extent, it is to avoid losing our job. The loss of a job would mean a loss of income and, eventually, a house and car or the power to meet our financial obligations. As a result, a lot of changes will be inevitable hence the great fear of the worst.  

Could it also be that the fear of the unknown is merely a fear of loss? But what is there to lose when, eventually, everything is lost? And what if what truly matters has not even been imagined but lies right behind that fear? In other words, what if the fear of the unknown is what man was meant to overcome to find true purpose?

Generally, there is nothing wrong with the fear of the unknown, for it is the fear of the unknown that drives us to do better. It fuels dreams and desires, as well as inventions that continue to improve livelihoods in many ways. It also helps build means and ways of avoiding and preventing possible or imminent danger as part of our natural survival instinct. 
The shortfall is when this fear becomes our obsession. It is when this fear gets in the way of our progress and leads to dysfunction. In the end, the dysfunction becomes our obstacle to progress at both individual and societal level. 
And while we are at it, would it not be worth it to ask if a man would ever enter the doors of the church if it was not for the fear of hell?
E-mail: karlsimbumusic@gmail.com
OSHIMWENYO will be published every Friday in the New Era newspaper with contributions from Karlos Naimwhaka.


Staff Reporter
2020-06-19 18:29:42 | 20 days ago

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