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The One We Fear

You should only fear one thing and one person. Yourself. Because only you can destroy yourself. And by destroy or damage, I mean in the mind. All real damage is in the mind. This is because damage is not a cause. It is an effect. Even in the case of physical damage, sure the pain is 'real' and tangible. But it heals. Or not. But the actual damage is done mentally. Take cancer or a broken leg. In both the cases, it is the mind which leads. We often come across phrases like "...struggled bravely against cancer before he succumbed..." etc. If the mind gives up, the body cannot endure. The mind has to continue to fight, even in the case of this most grossly debilitating disease.

Now onto a broken leg. It is a minor ailment seen from a larger perspective. But try telling that to the person whose leg is broken. To him, it may appear to be unending misery. A complete upheaval or his routine and destruction of his personal freedom. For a seemingly endless period. The mind leads the rot. It begins to despair. The weak succumb. Become irritable, moody and/or depressed. The strong ones turn it completely around. I know one such case.

When I was in class 11th, one of my acquaintances came down with jaundice. A severe form of it such that he was forced to rest at home for two months. My first reaction upon hearing it was pity and an empathetic sadness for him. Poor fellow, I thought, how will he prepare for his entrances? Unable to attend coaching classes, he'll be up to his elbows in backlogs by the time he recovers. However, things turned out a lot differently in real life. He took the opportunity to invest most of his time studying by himself, and by the end of two months became one of the class toppers. An overall 'Bond' as the colloquial term was for any of those superbrights who excelled in all three subjects.

Thus I have (I hope) managed to successfully illustrate my points that it is our mind that makes or breaks us. Even historically, the greatest leaders like Caesar, Genghis Khan or Napolean were known for their mental strength and fortitude against seemingly insurmountable odds and in the face of imperturbable reverses. Thus it is our mind that is our greatest strength or weakness.

Thus comes the main point of what I really wanted to say. What should we truly fear? Our mind. Because it can destroy us. Utterly. Completely. Without any hope of recovery. Note that I'm not talking about psychological illnesses here. I'm talking about the illnesses that we all suffer from to some degree, unaware of the seriousness (or not) of our conditions. The diseases of weak willpower, low discipline and mental stamina, procrastination, low self-esteem, self-doubt, fear of future and others.

Thus we are our greatest enemies, for we and we alone possess the power to utterly destroy ourselves. And humans have always, always been inclined to an almost instinctive streak of self-destruction.

So the One we all Fear is not the Devil, nor God himself. It is us. 


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