“It was like being hit by three successive waves of heartbreak, each one bigger than the last, my mind raced through the hours we’d spent talking on the quad, on the phone, all the times I could have said, ‘hey, Zaheera, I like you, will you be my girlfriend?’” Trevor Noah.
A tale too familiar for many of us, the story of the young Trevor Noah in matters of the heart, having had a crush on the young lady by the name of Zaheera for years, he one day returns to school after recess to find out that she has left the school, not only that but that she has left the country, not only that, but that she had a crush on him, but due to fear he had never made a move and confessed to her his feelings, and now standing in the quad is a young man having his fair share of lashes from the universe, he stands in the quad in total awe of everything that has and is happening, how in his wildest dreams he could have not anticipated nor prophesied this moment.
Like our shadow, fear walks side by side with us, sometimes it is visible and seen, sometimes not, but it is always there, waiting for a moment of self-doubt, waiting for a sign of skepticism, when the inner voice in us says ‘I can’t do that’, ‘it cannot be done’, ‘I am not good enough’, ‘I don’t qualify, it is always there alongside waiting for these moments of weakness, waiting to strike like a vicious sniper with a profound vision of Howard Hill.
One young man narrates a tale of how once upon a time he had to give a speech in school, that ‘when he stood up to talk, his mind sat down’, he was paralyzed by fear, a speech that he had been practicing for days could not be located anywhere in his mind, fear had penetrated in all the compartments of his mind that the speech was totally erased. It is my view that fear usually is a matter of lack of believe in ourselves, our abilities and capabilities, and this emotion of self-doubt further constructs forward results of what we are afraid of doing, the projected and predicted results become of failure, and to protect ourselves, not doing the task, avoiding and neglecting the pursuit becomes the ideal thing to do.
“Courage is not the absence of fear”, Mosses had fear when he was tasked with freeing the Israelites and delivering them to the promised land, Martin Luther had fear when he led the Civil rights movement, Nelson Mandela had fear when he was fighting for democracy, but none of these fighters were stopped by fear.
Perhaps what we should fear the most, is fear itself, fearing what fear can do, the opportunities it can deprive us, the happiness it can steal from us, the regrets it shall eventually bring us when it subsides, and our moment has passed in vain, uncaptured.
I can imagine someday in the future, at the end of it all, when we are asked to give feedback on the game of life that we have played, and they ask- how did you play? Some will say I won, some will say I lost, some will say a bit of both, winnings and losses, and unfortunately there are some who will say ‘I never played’, and fear will have been the one thing that prevented them from playing.
“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear” Rosa Parks.
It is my hope that we can begin to thoroughly understand and acknowledge this thing called ‘fear’, that it exists within each and every of us, the pivotal part being, it should never be the barrier between us and our desires, it should never be the obstacle that confines and prevents us from touching the lives that we should be touching, from giving and receiving love, from undoubtedly going after our dreams with all our might and strength, that it is there to only remind us, that we are alive.
Perhaps what you want wants you too.
Blog post by Tokelo Hlagala.
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