When were you last afraid?
As a child we fear many things, from falling out of a tree to getting kidnapped in the grocery store. And as we age we gain confidence and experience from living through those fears and dealing with them. But as adults do we ever really fear? And if not, have we left behind an important part of the learning and growing process?
When a child is afraid of falling out of a tree he does one of two things depending on his personality type. He either arranges to never have occasion to be in a tree, or he decides to conquer the fear by deliberately putting himself at risk of falling out. And possibly, (as I did myself) he deliberately falls out of the tree to get the scary part over with.
So as we grow and become more confident in our abilities and the security of the little world we create around us, what happens if we take away the fear?
Unfortunately we become stale and ingrown. And our lack of fear is in reality a fear in itself. A fear of drifting away from the comfort zone we've been working on since we first fell out of that tree. Those who have the daring to seek new encounters and strange surroundings may experience moments of fear, but in the end, they have the richer reward of a life that was lived and not simply endured.
In the quest to become a better adult, it might do us some good to contemplate the ways of the child. To seek out one or two frightening things a day, and to experience them with all the trepidation of a child first climbing a ladder to look down from the unimaginable heights of the roof of the barn.